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Composite image of Vernon Unsworth and Elon Musk

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Mr Musk (R) referred to as British diver Mr Unsworth (L) “pedo guy”

Elon Musk have to defend himself in court following calling a diver who helped save Thai schoolboys trapped in a cave a paedophile, a Los Angeles judge says.

The federal court judge set a 22 October trial date.

Mr Musk is getting sued by Vern Unsworth, who helped rescue the 12 boys from Thailand’s Tham Luang caves.

The Tesla boss referred to as Mr Unsworth a “pedo” in a Twitter post following the Briton stated Mr Musk’s try to aid in the rescue was a “PR stunt”.

Why has this come to court?

Mr Unsworth helped recruit knowledgeable UK cave divers, who had been instrumental in freeing the boys who had develop into stuck in the cave due to increasing water levels in July 2018.

When efforts had been ongoing, Mr Musk sent engineers from his Tesla enterprise and a little submarine to Thailand to aid free of charge the boys. It was under no circumstances utilized.

In an interview with CNN, Mr Unsworth referred to as Mr Musk’s efforts a “publicity stunt”.

Responding in a series of tweets, Mr Musk elaborated on how the submarine may well operate and referred to Mr Unsworth as “pedo guy”.

Mr Musk quickly apologised and deleted the offending tweets, saying he had acted “in anger”.

  • Who is Elon Musk?
  • The Thai cave rescue: What occurred subsequent?

But he reignited the row in September.

In an e-mail to a Buzzfeed reporter, he implored the journalist to “uncover out what is essentially going on” and recommended the diver had taken no element in the cave rescue.

Mr Unsworth is in search of at least $75,000 (£57,700) in compensation plus punitive damages in his September 2018 lawsuit.

Image caption

Vern Unsworth (R) helped bring best international cave rescuers to the mission, such as Rob Harper (L)

The suit also seeks a court order stopping Mr Musk from creating any additional disparaging comments.

He stated the Tesla chief executive defamed him with “unlawful, unsupportable and reprehensible accusations”, according to court documents.

In in search of a dismissal, Mr Musk’s lawyers argued the comments had been “imaginative” or “more than-the-best” insults in the heat of the moment that had been protected beneath the US Very first Amendment.

But the judge stated Mr Musk was not communicating in “heated and volatile” settings that may well clarify any excesses.

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