Elon Musk testified that he is "financially illiquid," a lawyer for the British diver Vernon Unsworth wrote in a legal filing, Bloomberg reported.
Musk is worth $23.6 billion, though a substantial majority of his wealth comes in the form of stock in SpaceX (worth $14.6 billion) and Tesla (worth $8.8 billion), according to Bloomberg.
"Mr. Musk clarified that much of his net worth is committed to his companies," Business Insider quotes Alex Spiro, an attorney for Musk.
"Of course Mr. Unsworth's lawyers are focused on this, since the entire case is nothing but a money-grab."
Unsworth, 64, who helped rescue 12 Thai boys from an underwater cave in 2018, is suing Musk claiming defamation after being called a "pedo guy" on Twitter last year by the Tesla and SpaceX CEO.
The tweet followed a CNN TV interview in which Unsworth referred to the miniature submarine Musk sent to Thailand to aid in the rescue of a boys’ football team and their coach from Tham Luang Nang Non cave as potentially ineffective and no more than a publicity stunt.
Unsworth said the mini-sub “had absolutely no chance of working” because Musk “had no conception of what the cave passage was like”.
Elon Musk’s tweet was subsequently deleted, with the business magnate issuing an apology to Unsworth.
Musk, 48, said “pedo guy” was “a common insult used in South Africa when I was growing up.”
He said the expression was “synonymous with “creepy old man” and referred to a person’s appearance and demeanor.
“In response to his insults in the CNN interview, I meant to insult him back by expressing my opinion that he seemed like a creepy old man,” claimed Musk in September.
The defamation trial is scheduled for 2 December.