Elon Musk has renewed his attacks on a British diver involved in the Thailand cave rescue operation, this time claiming in an email that the man is a “child rapist.”
In correspondence with BuzzFeed, Musk reportedly wrote “stop defending child rapists,” before calling diver Vernon Unsworth “an old, single white guy from England who’s been travelling to or living in Thailand for 30 to 40 years, mostly Pattaya Beach, until moving to Chiang Rai for a child bride who was about 12 years old at the time.”
The billionaire businessman prefaced one of his emails to BuzzFeed with the words “off the record,” but the publication disclosed it anyway, defending its decision to do so by stating that they did not explicitly agree to Musk’s condition.
Unsworth’s attorney has denied Musk’s accusations and the Tesla CEO has neither provided any evidence for his claims nor has any information been uncovered by reporters that would corroborate the accusations.
According to Reuters, an unnamed police officer in Chiang Rai, where Unsworth has lived for seven years, said no charges or complaints had ever been filed against the Briton.
Threat of Lawsuit
Unsworth has threatened to sue Musk, who struck a defiant tone in the correspondence, saying “as for this alleged threat of a lawsuit, which magically appeared when I raised the issue (nothing was sent or raised beforehand), I [expletive] hope he sues me.”
Musk has never said explicitly why he has leveled such astonishing claims against Unsworth, who was part of an international team that freed 12 young members of a soccer team and their coach from the Tham Luang cave complex.
But he called Unsworth a “pedo” in a tweet after the diver questioned the usefulness of a mini-submarine the tech entrepreneur had offered to help the rescue.
Unsworth had dismissed Musk’s offer as a “just a PR stunt”, and told CNN the device “had absolutely no chance of working,” and that Musk could “stick his submarine where it hurts.”
Musk responded with a tweet on July 15: “We will make one (video) of the mini-sub/pod going all the way to Cave 5 no problem. Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it,” Reuters reported.
Unsworth told the Guardian he was “astonished and very angry” at Musk’s Twitter blast, which the tech billionaire followed up with, “Bet ya a signed dollar it’s true.”
Musk has since deleted this tweet, along with the subsequent comment, and issued an apology.
“My words were spoken in anger after Mr. Unsworth said several untruths & suggested I engage in a sexual act with the mini-sub, which had been built as an act of kindness & according to specifications from the dive team leader,” Musk wrote in a reply to another Twitter user.
As this well-written article suggests, my words were spoken in anger after Mr. Unsworth said several untruths & suggested I engage in a sexual act with the mini-sub, which had been built as an act of kindness & according to specifications from the dive team leader.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 18, 2018
“Nonetheless, his actions against me do not justify my actions against him, and for that I apologize to Mr Unsworth and to the companies I represent as leader. The fault is mine and mine alone.”
But in his correspondence with BuzzFeed’s news reporter Ryan Mac, Musk doubled down on his accusations against the British diver, who was hailed by rescuers as having used his knowledge of the cave system and his connections in the cave diving community to marshal a response that ultimately freed the trapped youths.
“Elon Musk can tweet his vindictive and vicious lie about Mr. Unsworth a hundred times and it will still be a lie,” Unsworth’s lawyer, L. Lin Wood, wrote in a statement, according to BuzzFeed. “After deleting the initial accusation and tweeting an apology, Mr Musk has continued to republish his false and unsupportable accusation. His conduct demonstrates that his recklessness is intentional and designed to harm Mr. Unsworth.”
The lawyer also said in an email to the Guardian on Tuesday, “Elon Musk’s campaign of publishing vile and false accusations against Mr Unsworth is inexcusable. Musk hopes to be sued and he deserves to be sued. He will be.”
From The Epoch Times