Tesla CEO Elon Musk was found innocent of defamation by a jury on Friday in a lawsuit filed against him by a British diver. The diver sued the chief executive after Musk called him a "pedo guy" on twitter.
According to diver Vernon Unsworth's lawyer (64), Musk has thrown a "nuclear media bomb" on his client, which will bother him for the rest of his life.
Unsworth wanted Musk for 190 million dollars (equivalent to 171 million euros) to be punished for the statement. The lion's share, more than 150 million dollars, should have been paid by the Tesla chief executive as a civil fine, the remaining 40 million dollars as compensation.
The jury ruled that the insult arose from a 'quarrel between two men', which resulted in a gross insult that "nobody should be taken seriously". Upon leaving the court, Musk said about the judgment that his "faith in humanity had been restored."
Diver involved in saving Thai children from cave
Unsworth was involved at the end of 2018 in the rescue of a group of children from a cave of children in Thailand. Musk also offered his help at the time, but his suggested mini-submarine was put away by Unsworth as a "pr-stunt" because it would have no effect whatsoever.
After the successful rescue, Musk called him a "pedo guy" on social media, or a pedophile, for which he later apologized publicly. He did, however, stress that Unsworth needed to be further investigated and the media had to stop "defending child rapists". Eventually the Briton went to court for defamation.
Musk recently said he only wanted to insult Unsworth and did not accuse him of pedophilia. The exclamation would also be a common name in South Africa, where Musk comes from.