Elon Musk says he was just being hyperbolic when he called a Thai cave diver 'pedo guy'

Elon Musk
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Remember when Tesla CEO Elon Musk repeatedly accused a diver of being a pedophile with absolutely no evidence? He's now looking to dismiss a defamation lawsuit, arguing he was only joking.

Musk is being sued by Vern Unsworth, one of the divers who helped rescue the Thai soccer players who were trapped in a cave over the summer. Musk on Twitter had baselessly attacked Unsworth as being a pedophile, referring to him as a "pedo guy." He did so after Unsworth called Musk's talk of rescuing the boys using a submarine a "PR stunt."

In new court filings, Musk's lawyers argue that no "reasonable reader" would take Musk's "over-the-top insults" as fact or evidence that he had "private knowledge" about Unsworth, especially because the two were in the middle of a "schoolyard spat" on a "social networking website infamous for invective and hyperbole," BuzzFeed's Ryan Mac reports. The lawyers conclude Musk's "imaginative attacks" reflect his personal opinion and are thus subject to First Amendment protections.

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Musk had also made his accusations against Unsworth outside of Twitter, claiming in an interview with BuzzFeed that he is a "child rapist." He added, "I f---ing hope he sues me."

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