Tesla CEO Elon Musk will indeed be facing a lawsuit over his July tweet in which he called Vernon Unsworth, a British expat living in Thailand who assisted with the rescue of a dozen boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave, a “pedo.”
Unsworth’s suit was filed today in federal court in California, Reuters and other outlets reported today. He’s seeking at least $75,000 in compensatory damages and an unspecified amount in punitive damages.
Musk’s tweet came after Unsworth criticized Musk’s own high-tech solution to rescuing the boys who spent 18 days trapped in a Thailand cave. The rescue operation was very dangerous, and claimed the life of a former Thai Navy SEAL, yet all of the boys and their coach made it out alive.
A week into the crisis, Musk sent repurposed and modified rocket liquid oxygen transfer tubes to Thailand, thinking the hurriedly-created mini sub might prove useful in the boy’s rescue. However the tubes were too small and rigid to be of any use to rescuers.
Unsworth, who was part of the rescue mission, told reporters that the submarines had “no chance of working.” Musk responded with his now-deleted tweet:
Musk may have deleted the original tweet, but he later doubled down on the accusation in August, asking one Twitter user “You don’t think it’s strange he hasn’t sued me?”
And now he has. So, yeah.