British cave diver Vernon Unsworth, who was thrust into the media spotlight after participating in a rescue operation a year ago to save a Thai soccer team that was trapped in a flooded and complex cave system, and earning the ire of Elon Musk over it, has struck back against the Tesla CEO who previously branded him a “pedo guy” on social media, BuzzFeed News reveals citing recently obtained court documents that were released Monday night.
According to the media outlet, while Musk’s legal team previously sought to dismiss the ongoing defamation lawsuit launched by Unsworth against the SpaceX founder on the grounds that Musk “did not initially mean for ‘pedo guy’ to be taken factually”, the documents claim that the tech mogul orchestrated "a malicious, false, and anonymous leak campaign in the UK and Australian press” intended to destroy Unsworth’s reputation.
“On August 24, 27, and 30, Musk received separate written reports stating that Unsworth met [his partner] when she was at least 18 or 19 years old (and married her some years after that) – but less than 8 hours after getting the last such report, Musk nonetheless told the BuzzFeed reporter that Unsworth is a child rapist who married a 12-year-old child bride,” Unsworth's lawyers wrote, as quoted by the media outlet.
The filing also reveals how during the aforementioned rescue operation, Musk and members of his team who were supposed to develop the mini-submarine they proposed to use during to save the kids, “were instead enlisting the Thai government (including the Thai Prime Minister) to publicly reverse a statement by the Thai regional governor’s statement that the Tube was not practical and did not fit the mission”, the media outlet notes.
While Unsworth’s legal representative declined to comment to BuzzFeed on the filing, Musk’s lawyer Alex Spiro said in a statement that “this case is nothing but a money-grab in which Unsworth has pursued profit and self-promotion at every turn."