Elon Musk seeks dis­missal of ‘pedo-guy’ law­suit.

Defama­tion suit brought against CEO by Bri­tish cave diver

The Mercury News Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - SLANDER AC­CU­SA­TION By Rex Crum [email protected]­yare­anews­group.com Con­tact Rex Crum at 408-2783415.

At­tor­neys for Elon Musk are ask­ing a U.S. District judge to throw out a defama­tion law­suit filed against the Tesla chief ex­ec­u­tive on the grounds that Musk’s “pedo guy” tweet about a Bri­tish cave diver amounted to lit­tle more than a school­yard spat that is still pro­tected free speech.

Musk’s lawyer’s filed a mo­tion in U. S. District Court in Los An­ge­les on Wed­nes­day to dis­miss the suit brought by cave div­ing ex­pert Vern Unsworth on the grounds that Musk was de­fend­ing him­self fol­low­ing neg­a­tive state­ments that Unsworth made about Musk in a TV in­ter­view. The is­sues be­tween the two stemmed from Musk of­fer­ing to send a mini- sub­ma­rine to Thai­land to aid in the res­cue of a boys soc­cer team, and their coach, who had been trapped in an un­der­wa­ter cave.

Unsworth made light of Musk’s of­fer of as­sis­tance, which led to Musk soon call­ing Unsworth “pedo guy” in a tweet, al­leg­ing Unsworth had an un­der­age child bride, and fi­nally dar­ing Unsworth to sue him over his state­ments. Musk soon went back on Twit­ter and apol­o­gized for his re­marks.

But, that wasn’t enough for Unsworth, who in Septem­ber filed li­bel and slander charges seek­ing at least $75,000 in com­pen­sa­tion from Musk.

In their mo­tion Wed­nes­day, Musk’s lawyers said their client’s state­ments, while be­ing over the top, were such that no one should have taken Musk seriously, and also pro­tected free speech un­der the First Amend­ment to the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion.

The lawyers ar­gue that Musk was le­git­i­mately de­fend­ing him­self fol­low­ing Unsworth’s neg­a­tive com­ments about Musk’s of­fer to help with res­cue the Thai soc­cer play­ers.

A hear­ing about Unsworth’s law­suit against Musk is cur­rently sched­uled for April 1, 2019.



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