ELON Musk will face a defamation case brought by a hero Brit diver who the billionaire dubbed a “pedo guy” on Twitter, it was confirmed on Friday.
Musk also branded Vernon Unsworth a “child rapist” in an explosive email after the cave expert helped rescue a trapped Thai youth football team last year.
Elon Musk will face a defamation lawsuit after a judge threw out his request that it be quashed[/caption]
Vernon Unsworth, 63, was branded a ‘pedo guy’ by Musk after a row over the use of a mini-submarine to rescue trapped Thai schoolboys from a cave last year[/caption]
The Tesla car boss had hoped to get the lawsuit thrown out of the courts in California by claiming free speech laws.
But on Friday a Los Angeles judge dismissed his request to have the case quashed – allowing proceedings to go ahead.
Lin Wood, one of Unsworth’s lawyers, told DailyMail.com: “We are extremely pleased with the denial and I look forward to speaking with Musk under oath about his false, heinous accusations against Mr Unsworth.”
Hero diver Vernon, 63, was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list for his work in the dramatic rescue in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave last July.
The retired broker, originally of St Albans, Herts, helped rescue a group of 12 boys and their football coach who got trapped in the flooded cave system during a team outing.
They were stuck for 18 days in an air pocket deep underground before divers, including Mr Unsworth – swam them out one-by-one.
Musk’s SpaceX rocket firm had offered the use of a mini-submarine for the rescue – but Unsworth described it as a “PR stunt”.
Musk, 47, went on to call him “pedo guy” on Twitter. He later deleted the post and apologised.
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But Musk then doubled down on his remarks – telling a journalist in an email to “stop defending child rapists”.
Unsworth, who lives in Thailand with his 40-year-old girlfriend of seven years, Woranan Ratrawiphukkun, wants at least £60,000 in compensation.
Musk’s lawyers characterised his slurs as “over-the-top” comments made during a “schoolyard spat on social media”.
Musk branded hero Brit diver Vernon Unsworth a ‘pedo guy’ in a now-deleted tweet[/caption]
Mr Unsworth is suing the billionaire for at least £60,000[/caption]
Mr Unsworth was awarded an MBE for his work in rescuing the Thai football team[/caption]
Unsworth lives in Thailand with his 40-year-old girlfriend of seven years Woranan Ratrawiphukkun[/caption]
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