Tesla CEO Elon Musk reignites ‘pedo guy’ cave diver controversy


Elon Musk has revived the controversy over comments he made in July about a British spelunker involved in the Thai cave rescue mission.

The Tesla chief executive said in a tweet late Tuesday that it was “strange” that cave diver Vernon Unsworth had not sued him for calling Unsworth a “pedo guy” on Twitter.

Unsworth had criticized Musk’s idea to save a now-rescued boys’ soccer team trapped in a cave in Thailand by using a mini-submarine crafted out of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket part. The Briton at the time said Musk could “stick his submarine where it hurts.”

The cave diver said shortly after Musk’s remarks in July that he was considering taking legal action against the billionaire. Tesla shares fell more than 3 percent that day.

Musk issued an apology to Unsworth days after he made the baseless accusation that the British explorer was a pedophile. In two posts on Twitter, the Tesla boss said he made the claim in “anger” and that the diver’s criticism of his submarine proposal did not warrant such a retaliation.

Representatives for Musk’s companies Tesla, SpaceX and The Boring Company were not immediately available for comment.

Musk’s leadership has come into question over the past few months, especially after he surprised investors by announcing he wanted to take the electric car manufacturer private — only to then make a U-turn.

Bearish traders have questioned whether the automaker can turn a corner from its cash burning and reach profitability as it struggles to scale production. Tesla surpassed a self-imposed production goal of 5,000 cars-a-week at the start of July. Worries remain over potential shortcuts taken to reach that target, such as eliminating brake tests in the final days of the production process.

Tesla currently has a market capitalization of more than $53 billion, on par with that of General Motors.

2018-08-29 09:00:00

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