Tesla boss Elon Musk has been acquitted of defamation. The jury in Los Angeles released the billionaire on Friday from charges of insulting British speleologist Vernon Unsworth. Unsworth's attorney Lin Wood had previously demanded $ 190 million (€ 172 million) in damages from Musk for attacking him on Twitter in the summer of 2018, including as a "pedo-type". Musk hugged his lawyer in the verdict and then told journalists his "belief in humanity is restored".
Background is the rescue operation for a youth football team that had been trapped by water masses in a cave in Thailand in June 2018. At that time, Musk proposed the use of a mini-submarine, which was then built in no time by its space company SpaceX and brought to Thailand. It was not used because it was unsuitable for the project, according to the rescue line.
"Teasing tweets among men"
The British diver Vernon Unsworth had publicly criticized the submarine proposal as a PR gag and said that Musk could "push his submarine where it hurts". Not only did Musk doubt Unsworth's role in the bailout, but he also described him as a "pedophile guy."
In court, Musk later defended his wording by saying that "pedophile guy" was a "general insult." His lawyer spoke of "teasing tweets in a dispute among men". He did not want to call the rescue diver seriously pedophile, but as a "disgusting fellow," Musk said. He emphasized that he apologized several times.