No apology for Elon Musk from British diver at ‘pedo man’ defamation trial

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LOS ANGELES (Information) – The British cave explorer suing Elon Musk for calling him a “pedo man” on Twitter testified on Thursday that his criticism of the Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) billionaire chief government that led to the tweet was not a private assault.

Elon Musk walks together with his face turned away from cameras as he arrives at courtroom for trial in a defamation case filed by British cave diver Vernon Unsworth who’s suing the Tesla Inc chief government for calling him a “pedo man” in considered one of a collection of tweets, because the case begins in Los Angeles, California, U.S., December four, 2019. Information/David McNew

Within the defamation trial’s third day, Vernon Unsworth additionally refused to apologize for a July 13, 2018, CNN interview during which he stated that Musk’s supply of a mini-submarine to assist rescue a boys’ soccer group from a flooded Thailand cave was a “PR stunt” and that Musk may “stick his submarine the place it hurts.”

“My insult was to the tube and to not Mr. Musk personally,” Unsworth stated whereas being cross-examined by Invoice Value, considered one of Musk’s legal professionals. “I’m undecided how I must apologize. It was my opinion on the time and I stand by that opinion.”

Unsworth started testifying on Wednesday, following Musk’s testimony over elements of two days.

Jurors may have the case by the top of Thursday, or on Friday morning, following testimony from different witnesses and shutting arguments.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages over three Musk tweets on July 15, 2018, 5 days after Unsworth helped full the rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from the cave.

Musk’s first tweet questioned Unsworth’s position within the rescue, whereas the second stated, “Sorry pedo man, you actually did ask for it.” The third tweet, in response to a follower who requested Musk in regards to the second tweet, stated “Wager ya a signed greenback it’s true.”

Unsworth stated the tweets branded him a pedophile and a liar, and stated on Wednesday that they left him “humiliated, ashamed, dirtied.”

In his personal testimony, Musk, 48, apologized to Unsworth and stated he didn’t consider Unsworth was a pedophile.

He additionally dismissed the tweets as an “off the cuff” response to watching a replay of Unsworth’s CNN interview, at a time he felt overworked from operating Tesla, which makes electrical automobiles, and SpaceX, a rocket firm that provided the mini-submarine.

Unsworth, 64, stated he started caving as a interest in 1971, and splits his time between Britain and Thailand, the place he has a Thai girlfriend.

To win his lawsuit, Unsworth wants to point out Musk was negligent in publishing a falsehood that clearly recognized him and brought on him hurt. He doesn’t want to point out that Musk acted with “precise malice,” which is far more durable to show.

Though the case doesn’t contain Tesla, Musk’s Twitter habits have lengthy been underneath shut scrutiny, with the corporate’s buyers and regulators expressing issues about his tweets.

With 29.9 million followers, Musk’s social media account is a significant supply of publicity for Palo Alto, California-based Tesla, which doesn’t promote.

Reporting by Nichola Groom and Rachel Parsons; Extra reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Modifying by Howard Goller