CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Culture

Elon Musk revives unsubstantiated 'pedo' claim against rescue diver

He questions why the British diver involved in the Thai cave rescue effort "hasn't sued" him.

Elon Musk Answers Your Questions! - 2018 SXSW Conference and Festivals

A Tuesday night Twitter conversation saw Elon Musk making reference to the "pedo guy" claims that earned him criticism in July.

Diego Donamaria

Elon Musk seems to have doubled down on his unsubstantiated claim that a British rescue diver who helped save a group of boys trapped in a Thai cave is a pedophile.

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO called Vernon Unsworth a "pedo guy" in a July tweet after the diver criticized Musk's proposed submarine rescue plan. Musk's tweet has since been deleted. He also apologized for the comment after facing criticism, including some from Tesla investors.

However, Musk appeared to revive the accusation in a Twitter conversation Tuesday after tech publicist Drew Olanoff, who uses the handle @yoda, mentioned the incident.

"You don't think it's strange he hasn't sued me? He was offered free legal services. And you call yourself @yoda … " Musk replied.

Musk then asked Olanoff in two separate tweets if he had investigated for himself before concluding that he hadn't.

Unsworth said in July he was considering legal action, and BuzzFeed News reported on Wednesday that the diver had obtained legal counsel and was preparing a libel complaint against Musk. A lawyer for Unsworth reportedly sent Musk a letter dated Aug. 6 notifying him of a possible lawsuit.

Musk's representatives declined to comment.

The exchange is the latest in series of social media dramas for Musk. In early August, he tweeted that he was "considering" taking Tesla private, which reportedly resulted in a subpoena from the US Securities and Exchange Commission to determine if his tweet "intentionally misled investors."

He put the notion of taking Tesla private to bed last Friday, saying that the company will stay public. His Instagram also vanished last week.

Musk admitted that he's had a "difficult and painful" year in a revealing The New York Times interview earlier this month.

First published at 3:28 a.m. PT.
Update, 7:48 a.m. PT: Adds that Musk's representatives declined comment.
Update, 9:13 a.m. PT: Adds report about possible libel case against Musk.

Now playing: Watch this: Elon Musk considers privatizing Tesla
1:54

Elon Musk's 'pedo guy' tweet fuels polarization problem: Why the Tesla founder is like Nickleback.

SpaceX reveals where the first people it sends to Mars will live: Be warned, it'll be cramped.