Elon Musk's "pedo guy" defamation defense: Twitter doesn't count

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Musk previously accused Vernon Unsworth, who aided with the rescue of 12 Thai children trapped in a cave during the summer, of being a pedophile.

Unsworth, who lives in Hertfordshire County north of London, sought at least $75,000 United States in compensatory damages plus unspecified punitive damages in his September 17 lawsuit. "In short, the reasonable reader would distinguish Musk's statements from those in which factual information about child sex abuse is conveyed". The motion from the lawyers also says Musk went after Unsworth over his "indefensible and baseless attack" in an effort to "defend himself and the efforts of SpaceX, Tesla, and the Boring Company employees who had given up their days and nights to help find a solution" for the boys trapped in the cave.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has had a pretty eventful year as he's been sued by the SEC and even had a muskox named after him. Musk and his team developed a small rescue sub to help in the recovery effort, but it didn't end up being used.

"He added: "(Musk) can stick his submarine somewhere where it hurts". "It just had absolutely no chance of working", Unsworth said. Musk responded with a barrage of tweets, including one that said, "Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it".

Lawyers for Musk claim people 'expect to read opinions not facts' on Twitter
Lawyers for Musk claim people 'expect to read opinions not facts' on Twitter

Musk later apologised, but an email Musk sent to BuzzFeed following the tweets and the threat of a lawsuit said: "He's an old, single white guy from England who's been traveling to or living in Thailand for 30 to 40 years, mostly Pattaya Beach, until moving to Chiang Rai for a child bride who was about 12 years old at the time", Musk wrote to the website. He claimed that the comments were off the record, but BuzzFeed had not agreed to that condition. "I entirely reject Mr. Musk's frivolous contention that all statements published on Twitter or other social media are protected speech", Lin Wood told CNBC.

A lawsuit was subsequently filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

"I am confident the trial court will likewise reject this fanciful position which, if adopted, would effectively prevent an individual from seeking redress for any and all false and defamatory attacks on reputation published on the internet", Wood said.

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