LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk returned to court on Wednesday to resume testifying at a trial to decide whether he defamed a British diver whom the Silicon Valley billionaire called “pedo guy” on Twitter.
Plaintiff attorney L. Lin Wood is shown with Elon Musk (L) and Judge Stephen Brown looking on, in a courtroom drawing during the trial in a defamation case filed by British cave diver Vernon Unsworth, who is suing the Tesla chief executive for calling him a “pedo guy” in one of a series of tweets, as the case begins in Los Angeles, California, U.S., December 3, 2019. REUTERS/Mona Shafer Edwards.
Flanked by half a dozen men, the 48-year-old South African-born entrepreneur did not answer questions from reporters as he entered the federal court in Los Angeles for his second day of testimony.
On Tuesday, Musk apologized for the “pedo guy” tweet, saying he was responding to an “unprovoked” insult by the diver, Vernon Unsworth, now suing him for defamation.
Unsworth had led a successful rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Thailand in July 2018 when in a CNN interview he mocked Musk’s offer of a mini-submersible as a public relations stunt, and said the Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) founder could “stick his submarine where it hurts.”
“I assume he did not mean to sodomize me with a submarine,” Musk testified on Tuesday under questioning from Unsworth’s lawyer, Lin Wood. “Just as I didn’t literally mean he was a pedophile.”
Unsworth is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages