September 23, 2018

Elon Musk Is Now Calling a Cave Rescuer a 'Child Rapist'

06 September 2018, 03:49 | Austin Hogan

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SpaceX and Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk renewed his attack on British cave diver Vernon Unsworth, who was instrumental in saving the lives of 12 schoolboys and their football coach marooned in a cave in Thailand for over 10 days in July.

On Tuesday, BuzzFeed News published two of Musk's emails in which he called a journalist who has written about the dispute a "f*cking asshole" and made new claims against Unsworth without any evidence for them.

Musk, who ended the email by writing "I fucking hope he sues me", prefaced the email with the phrase "off the record", a condition that the reporter says did not agree to prior to the email.

"I suggest that you call people you know in Thailand, find out what's actually going on", Musk wrote, according to Buzzfeed. "Musk did not provide proof of his claims to Buzzfeed News, and Buzzfeed News could not verify any of the claims after reporting on Unsworth's background". In it, he accused a British cave rescuer of being "a child rapist" who took a "12-year-old bride".

Mr Musk had earlier apologised for calling Mr Unsworth a "pedo".

"It isn't where you'd go for caves, but it is where you'd go for something else", Mr Musk wrote.

Mr Unsworth's lawyer Mark Kennedy from the firm Howard Kennedy told the BBC that Mr Musk's allegations were baseless.

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He asserted that the city was "renowned for child sex-trafficking".

Unsworth had dismissed Musk's offer as a "just a PR stunt", and told CNN the device "had absolutely no chance of working", and that Musk could "stick his submarine where it hurts".

"Tesla is losing the United States tax credit ahead of competition, posing further challenges to affordability at a time when competition is intensifying", Tamberrino said in a note to clients Tuesday, re-instating his sell-rating after briefly suspending coverage. "After deleting the initial accusation and tweeting an apology, Mr Musk has continued to republish his false and unsupportable accusation", Wood said in a statement.

This means Musk could face jail time if found guilty in the Southeast Asian nation.

The controversy comes at a time when Tesla and Musk continue to battle intense negative publicity and embarrassing controversies.

In a note to clients Tuesday, analyst David Tamberrino reinstated his August price target of $210 for Tesla - a 30 percent drop from its current price - citing increasing competition in the electric vehicle space.

Goldman Sachs has resumed its coverage of Tesla, slapping the carmaker with a sell rating less than a month after suspending coverage to help CEO Elon Musk explore taking the company private.

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