Published: Wed, July 18, 2018
Finance | By Cynthia Curry

Approached By Lawyers Over Elon Musk's Comments: British Caver

Approached By Lawyers Over Elon Musk's Comments: British Caver

Tesla shares closed almost three per cent down yesterday after boss Elon Musk sent a derogatory tweet about one of the British cave divers involved with the rescue of a football team in Thailand. Musk remarked that diver Vernon Unsworth was a "pedo" in a tweet that has since been deleted.

He said that the child-sized submarine Musk provided during the rescue operation "had absolutely no chance of working".

The accusation and reaction took some attention away from a different social media flurry on Saturday, when Musk took to Twitter to explain why he donated money to the Republican Party - specifically, $38,900 to a Republican political action committee called Protect the House.

When asked by reporters at the cave site about whether he would consider taking legal action against Musk, Unsworth said, "Yes, it's not finished".

Musk defended his vessel further and then added: "Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it". In an interview last week, Musk said he was reforming from his belief that Twitter was a no-holds-barred battleground where "if you attack me, it is therefore okay for me to attack back". The tweet has been deleted.

Unsworth said he had saved copies of Musk's tweets and believed that the businessman had "lost the plot", adding: "I have a lot of support from people around the world astonished by his unfounded comments".

Tesla recently met a weekly manufacturing target for its electric sedan, the Model 3, after months of delays and a series of disasters Musk called "production hell".

The investors went on to say that Musk's behavior was "fueling an unhelpful perception" of his leadership - calling it "thin-skinned and short-tempered".

Four Manchester United players star in World Cup third place play-off
Southgate added: "I thought Stones was absolutely outstanding and [goalkeeper Jordan] Pickford has had a wonderful tournament". We, players, like this kind of challenges, and we're ready to finish everything on a high note.

There is no indication the disparaging claim musk made to his 22 million followers is true. Reuters could not reach Unsworth for comment.

In our view, your outburst at analysts on the March 2018 earnings call, your ongoing frustration with short sellers and the media, your June email exchange with the saboteur, and your confrontation on Twitter with cave diver Vern Unsworth each raised flags with investors.

What's weird about Musk's tweet is that it came on July 15, a full five days after the boys were rescued.

Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond, said Unsworth could potentially bring a legal case arguing that Musk's attack was libel - a false and written statement that defamed or damaged his reputation.

A police officer in Chiang Rai, where Unsworth has lived for seven years, said that no charges or complaints had ever been filed against Unsworth. He's considering legal action against Musk, so it looks like he's about to take another hit where it hurts him the most.

Earlier this month, Musk said in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek that he would engage with his detractors on Twitter less often.

James Anderson, one of the largest shareholders in Tesla, told the Guardian that he planned to convey his concerns to the company.

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