American tech entrepreneur, investor, and engineer, Elon Musk, is likely to face a lawsuit in the US over defamation after he described a British cave diver as a “pedo guy” on Twitter last year.
Musk also described Vernon Unsworth, who was one of the divers who first discovered the Mu Pa football team trapped in the Tham Luang cave last year, a “child rapist” in a private email to a journalist.
The war of words erupted after Unsworth mocked Musk’s mini-submarine that Musk’s company had built and sent to the caves to help with the rescue mission.
Unsworth said the submarine was nothing more than a “p.r. stunt” and that Musk could “stick his submarine where it hurts”.
Musk went on to call Unsworth “a pedo guy” on Twitter. The post was later deleted and Musk apologised for the slur.
Musk had tried to get the lawsuit thrown out of court in California with his legal team citing freedom of speech laws, adding that his comments were “over the top” and part of a “schoolyard spat on social media”.
However, on Friday, a judge in Los Angeles dismissed the plea and ruled that the defamation case could go ahead.
Lin Wood, one of Unsworth’s lawyers, told DailyMail.com… “We are extremely pleased with the denial (from the judge) and I look forward to speaking with Musk under oath about his false, heinous accusations against Mr Unsworth.”