Musk’s new lawyer fights ‘pedo man’ defamation lawsuit claims, questions motive

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SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s lawyer argued Tuesday in a court docket submitting that the British cave diver who grew to become embroiled in a public spat along with his consumer and later sued for defamation can’t recuperate damages as a result of his repute was not harmed.

In court docket paperwork filed Tuesday, Musk’s new lawyer Alex Spiro of Quinn Emmanuel questioned the motive of Vernon Unsworth, the British cave diver, who filed a defamation lawsuit in September 2018 within the U.S. District Courtroom for the Central District of California. The go well with was filed after Musk known as him a “pedo man” and made different statements insinuating he was a pedophile in a public assault on Twitter. The battle erupted final summer season after the rescue of youth soccer gamers trapped in a collapse Thailand.

Musk denies the allegations of defamation within the newest response. Spiro grew to become Musk’s lawyer earlier this month.

“One has to query Mr. Unsworth’s motive in turning this right into a federal case,” Spiro wrote in a response to Unsworth’s grievance. “The libel legal guidelines exist to guard these whose reputations have been harmed by false assertions of reality. Within the case of Mr. Unsworth, who made himself a public determine, these assertions should be made with constitutional malice. Mr. Musk has already retracted what he stated publicly. Mr. Unsworth’s declare is thus confined to what Mr. Musk stated in personal dialog. Regardless, Mr. Unsworth and his repute aren’t any worse off.”

Musk’s lawyer argues that Unsworth was motivated by a “want to take advantage of the media protection over what he instigated to reap a monetary windfall from Mr. Musk, regardless of the absence of any harm.” Musk will battle that, Spiro wrote.

U.S. District Choose Stephen V. Wilson just lately denied a movement to dismiss the case and as a substitute scheduled a date for trial. The trial is scheduled to start October 22. The choice implies that Unsworth’s case is robust sufficient to go to trial.

Musk’s legal professionals argued that statements on the web, and extra particularly on unmoderated boards like Twitter, are presumptively opinion, not goal reality. Defamation legislation doesn’t apply to opinions or insults. However Wilson rejected Musk’s argument, partly due to an e-mail interplay he had with BuzzFeed reporter Ryan Mac.

The lawsuit alleges that between July 15 and August 30, Musk periodically used Twitter and emails to the media to publish false and defamatory accusations towards Unsworth, together with accusations of pedophilia and youngster rape.

The preliminary “pedo man” assault got here after Unsworth gave a important interview to the media saying Musk’s mini sub “had completely no likelihood of working.” The diving knowledgeable ended an interview phase by suggesting Musk ought to “stick his submarine the place it hurts.”

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