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Elon Musk apparently doesn't know how much he's worth

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO is reportedly asked about his net worth and says he doesn't have a lot of cash.

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Elon Musk leaves the US District Court in Los Angeles.

Apu Gomes/Getty Images

Elon Musk reportedly doesn't know his precise net worth, based on stock he owns in Tesla and SpaceX, but testified that $20 billion was probably a reasonable estimate. Musk reportedly made the comment Wednesday during testimony in a defamation case brought against him by British cave diver Vernon Unsworth, whom Musk called a "pedo guy" in a tweet last year.

On Tuesday, Musk apologized for the tweet during the first day of the trial, held in US District Court in Los Angeles, and on Wednesday he reiterated that "pedo guy" was meant as an insult, not a statement of fact, according to CNBC.

In July 2018, Musk called Unsworth, a diver who helped rescue a boys soccer team trapped in a Thai cave, a "pedo guy" on Twitter after the diver criticized Musk's proposed submarine rescue plan. Unsworth sued Musk for defamation in September 2018, saying the tweet damaged him by associating his name with pedophilia.

On Wednesday, Unsworth testified that he took Musk's tweet literally and felt "humiliated" and "ashamed," CNN reported. "I'm not sure of how many times it was repeated, but it was essentially my name was being tied to being a pedophile," Unsworth reportedly said Wednesday. 

Attorneys for Musk and Unsworth didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. 

During the trial, Unsworth's attorney asked Musk his net worth, according to CNBC. Musk reportedly said he owns stock in Tesla and SpaceX but doesn't have a lot of cash. When asked if $20 billion is a reasonable estimate, Musk responded that "I think SpaceX and Tesla stock probably amount to that," according to CNBC.

More witnesses are set to testify Thursday. Unsworth could reportedly win around $75,000 if the court finds that Musk defamed him and caused him damage.

During closing arguments Friday, Unsworth's attorney reportedly called Musk a "billionaire bully" and suggested he pay $190 million in damages​ for the defamation.

"He dropped a nuclear bomb on Vernon Unsworth," the attorney argued, Reuters reported Friday.

Originally published Dec. 5. Update, Dec. 6: Adds report on $190 million sought in damages.