07 December 2019 22:34
Billionaire businessman Elon Musk says his 'faith in humanity is restored' after he won a defamation case. Mr Musk had sent a tweet calling the British cave explorer Vernon Unsworth 'a pedo guy'. Mr Unsworth said that was damaging to his reputation but a jury disagreed. The spat between the two men started last year over the rescue of 12 boys who became trapped in a cave in Thailand. Elon Musk did not utter any defamatory remarks about British caver Vernon Unsworth, at least according to the jury handling the case in Los Angeles federal court.
The defamation lawsuit between Musk and Unsworth has gone in favor of Musk, Reuters reports. Musk, who found himself in this situation after labeling Unsworth as a "pedo guy" on Twitter and suggesting to a reporter he's a "child rapist," relied on his defense team stating the comments were born out of frustration and not based on fact. Unsworth had participated in the Tham Luang cave rescue in July 2018, and Musk felt slighted that Thai officials and cave experts did not consider the billionaire's miniature submarine in their efforts. Had the jury decided Musk should be held liable, Unsworth could've received up to $190 million in damages. Musk estimated his net worth to be around $20 billion during the trial.
Now, Unsworth won't receive any compensation but Musk did apologize for referring to him as a pedophile. Both sides faced each other prior to the verdict being delivered. "My faith in humanity is restored," Musk said in court following the verdict's announcement. The jury took only an hour to deliberate. In total, the trial lasted for four days. Musk has not tweeted about the trial despite a favorable verdict. Typically, he tweets about major stories relating to him, but his attorneys likely advised Musk to stay quiet on this matter to ensure it goes away. With the defamation trial behind him, Musk can continue focusing on his three major companies. Tesla announced the Cybertruck a few weeks ago, and SpaceX has plans to launch satellite-based internet service next year. As for Neuralink, the startup developing in-brain wireless chips doesn't have an immediate rollout on the calendar but a large team appears to be at work already. So there's a lot on the horizon for Musk, and a defamation suit won't be slowing him down.