Tesla owner Elon Musk was released from court on Friday, following a Twitter comment in summer of 2018, when he refered to a British cave dweller as a “pedo-guy”.
The jury took 45 minutes to decide and free Musk from the charges. The South African born tech genius is a heavily monitored celebrity, which is why this case why in the public eye since it had happened.
The British man who accused him is Vernon Unsworth, a cave dweller expert who helped save 12 boys trapped in a cave in Thailand. He claimed that Musk’s sending of a submarine to assist the effort was pure promotion and advertising.
In a 90-minute speech at the Federal Court in Los Angeles, Unsworth’s lawyer described Musk as a “billionaire tyrant”, and his client as a man of humble origin whose life turned after their dispute and the subsequent media cover. Vernon asked for a $190 million compensation in court.
Everything began in the summer of 2018 when Musk sent one of his submarines, his own design, in order to help the trapped children in Thailand. Unsworth, who was a big part of the saving effort, called Musk’s mission a publicity stunt in an interview with CNN. He called the submarine useless, and told the billionaire he could “stick it where it hurts”.
Musk then took it to Twitter, and branded the cave expert a pedophile, calling him a “pedo-guy”. Several days later, he deleted the Tweet and apologized.
Unsworth has revealed on Wednesday that he feels “dirty” and “humiliated” after everything that has happened. He added that he was hurt, and that it would leave a mark on him for the rest of his life.