Elon Musk beat back a defamation claim from a British cave expert who sued the billionaire CEO over a tweet in which Musk labeled the man a “pedo guy.”
A federal jury in Los Angeles found Friday that Musk’s insult of Vernon Unsworth fell short of defamation.
It’s another win for Musk, 48, who’s managed to get out of legal trouble relatively unscathed.
Musk agreed to step down from his role of chairman of Tesla Inc. for three years in 2018 to settle a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit over a tweet the regulator said misled investors. But he’s run Tesla and SpaceX as usual.
The four-day civil trial marked the first time that Musk has been called as a witness at trial.
He told the jury the tweet shouldn’t have been taken literally and was fired off in anger after Unsworth, in a TV interview, insulted his effort to help rescue members of a Thai soccer team from a flooded cave in 2018.