Elon Musk has been found not liable for defamation over his tweets referring to British cave diver Vernon Unsworth as a “pedo guy” on Twitter.
Unsworth brought the lawsuit against Musk in September 2018 following the tweets. Musk and his defence team have now argued that the tweet was not a statement of fact and was simply a heated rhetoric.
It all began when Musk sent a mini-submarine to Thailand to help rescue a boy’s soccer team that was stuck in an underwater cave. When the sub arrived, rescuers didn’t use it because it was too large. Unsworth called the sub a PR stunt in an interview with CNN. Musk then responded by calling the diver a “pedo guy” in a tweet.
Musk testified in court that he did not believe that the cave diver was a pedophile and apologized to him. His defence team argued that the tweet did not harm Unsworth and that the phrase “pedo guy” is widely known as slang for “creepy old guy.”
The jury only deliberated for an hour before delivering its verdict in the case. Musk said in court that his “faith in humanity is restored” following the verdict.