(Reuters) – Elon Musk on Monday said he did not intend to accuse a British diver of pedophilia by branding him a “pedo guy” on Twitter, as the Tesla Inc chief executive sought to dismiss a defamation lawsuit.
Musk posted the tweet, for which he later apologized, after Vernon Unsworth accused Musk in a CNN interview of grandstanding by offering to help Unsworth’s diving team rescue 12 boys and their soccer coach from a Thailand cave in July 2018.
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Unsworth sued two months later in Los Angeles federal court, saying Musk falsely branded him a pedophile and child rapist.
“‘Pedo guy’ was a common insult used in South Africa when I was growing up,” Musk, 48, who was raised in Pretoria, said in a court filing. “It is synonymous with ‘creepy old man’ and is used to insult a person’s appearance and demeanor.
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“I did not intend to accuse Mr. Unsworth of engaging in acts of pedophilia,” Musk added. “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.”
Musk also said his “off the record” August 2018 email to a BuzzFeed News reporter urging him to...
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