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Musk and UK Caver To Testify In Defamation Trial

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Musk and UK Caver To Testify In Defamation Trial

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk will testify in his defense in a defamation trial in Los Angeles, his lawyer said on Monday, according to Reuters.

What Happened

Musk is facing defamation charges in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles for calling a UK-based caver Vernon Unsworth “pedo guy.”

“Evidence is going to be through Mr. Musk testifying that in fact, Mr. Musk didn’t call him a pedophile. Mr. Musk deleted the tweet, apologized, and moved on,” Musk’s lawyer Alexander Spiro told the court, according to Reuters.

Musk has defended himself saying that “pedo guy” is a common insult in South Africa, where he grew up, and that Musk didn’t intend to accuse Unsworth of pedophilia with the words.

What's Next

Unsworth’s lawyer told the court that Unsworth would testify as well. He will tell the court “about his worries, his anxieties, his concern by being branded a pedophile.” 

District Judge Stephen Wilson was scrutinizing evidence as part of the pretrial hearing on Monday ahead of the actual trial that is set to begin on December 3, Reuters reported. The hearing was extended to Tuesday.

Wilson, in October, dismissed Musk’s request to dismiss the lawsuit citing “free speech” defense. The judge said that Unsworth was neither a public figure nor did the matter concern any public affair.

The entire controversy started when Unsworth dubbed Musk’s attempt at rescuing children in Thailand using submarines a “PR stunt” in an interview with CNN. Musk responded with a series of disparaging tweets, resulting in the lawsuit.

Photo credit: Heisenberg Media via Wikimedia

Posted-In: Cybertruck Elon Musk GuardianNews Legal Global Media General Best of Benzinga

 

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