A British diver who helped rescue a youth football team trapped in a cave in northern Thailand earlier this year has sued Elon Musk, alleging that the Tesla CEO falsely accused him of being a pedophile and child rapist.
Unsworth is seeking unspecified damages "for the worldwide damage he has suffered to his reputation", according to the lawsuit, which noted that a separate complaint was being readied in the High Court of London.
The Tesla boss and SpaceX engineers built a small submarine and shipped it to Thailand to help with the rescue, but the device was not used, and Mr Unsworth called it a "PR stunt". However, Unsworth and other rescuers on the scene deemed it to be impractical. All of the 12 children and their coach were successfully evacuated after the divers taught them to use scuba gear.
Two days later, Musk lashed out on Twitter, posting to his 22.5 million followers that he would make a video proving the submarine could make it to the location where the children were trapped.
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But the lawyers say in the apology Mr Musk "significantly did not disavow or retract his accusations of paedophilia against Mr Unsworth".
Elon Musk may face more than one lawsuit from the British rescue diver. "He was offered free legal services".
So far, the EV entrepreneur reports in-house repairs are taking as little as 24 hours, but the company is aiming to bring this down to same day - and eventually within the hour.
"Mr Unsworth is not a paedophile". But in emails late last month to BuzzFeed, Musk added onto the attack, saying Unsworth was a "child rapist" who had moved to Thailand for a 12-year-old bride.
"On the surface, it appears that Mr. Unsworth can assert the elements of defamation", said Nancy Costello, director of the First Amendment Clinic at the Michigan State University College of Law, in an interview. He started going to Thailand in 2011, where he explored and mapped caves, the documents said.