Elon Musk Wins Defamation Lawsuit In Los Angeles Court

Elon Musk - Everystockphoto: Photographer b_d_solis
Elon Musk

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A Los Angeles federal jury handed Elon Musk a victory today, rejecting a libel lawsuit sparked by a Twitter post in which the billionaire Tesla CEO branded a British spelunker a “pedo guy.”
  
After deliberating for an hour, the eight-member jury returned to the courtroom with a verdict that terminated plaintiff Vernon Unsworth’s bid for $190 million in damages for alleged emotional pain and humiliation suffered as a result of the online insult, which he claimed accused him of being a pedophile.
  
As a result of the verdict, Musk will not be liable for damages. As he left court, Musk told reporters, “My faith in humanity is restored.”
  
Musk posted the insult days after Unsworth — a cave explorer who helped in the recovery of a dozen young soccer players and their coach from a cave in Thailand — said on CNN that the tech tycoon’s offer of a miniature submarine to help in the rescue was a publicity stunt with “absolutely no chance of working.” Unsworth said Musk could “stick his submarine where it
hurts.”

Musk, 48, testified in Los Angeles federal court that he believed Unsworth’s comments amounted to an “unprovoked attack on my team and me. He was insulting and rude, so I insulted him back. Regrettable, but …”
  
Asked by his own attorney if he seriously meant to accuse Unsworth of the crime of pedophilia, Musk answered: “Absolutely not. I thought it was obviously an insult … a flippant insult. Nobody took it to mean he’s a pedophile.”
  
Unsworth, 64, a financial adviser and cave explorer who splits his time between Thailand and the United Kingdom, told the jury that Musk’s tweet left him feeling “humiliated, ashamed, dirtied.”

Asked by his own attorney if he seriously meant to accuse Unsworth of the crime of pedophilia, Musk answered: “Absolutely not. I thought it was obviously an insult … a flippant insult. Nobody took it to mean he’s a pedophile.”
  
Later, Musk added, “I want to be clear. I did not accuse Mr. Unsworth of being a pedophile. I just meant creepy old man.”   

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