Thailand cave rescuer may sue Elon Musk for calling him a pedophile

Credit PA

Entrepreneur Elon Musk and a British diver who helped rescue a dozen boys and their soccer coach from a cave in Thailand last week are engaged in a public spat over the specially designed mini-submarine that Musk offered to rescuers but was never used.

In a weird series of tweets on Sunday, Musk said he would produce a video proving his submarine would have been able to reach the children and in a comment directed at Unsworth, added: "Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it".

Musk's incriminating statements came after the cave expert, Vern Unsworth, dismissed the SpaceX CEO's mini-submarine, hastily built for the rescue effort, as a "PR stunt".

Generally confused, some Twitter followers guessed that Musk was dubiously linking Unsworth (who has been mapping the Tham Luang caves for a decade) with Thailand's epidemic of child-sex tourism.

Asked if he would consider taking legal action, he told reporters: "Yes, it's not finished". Twitterers at the time did ask for an explanation regarding the pedo accusation to which Musk replied: "Bet ya a signed dollar it's true".

Zhao said he believed Musk originally had "good intentions", but that "humanitarian rescues ... are professional tasks so we should trust others with local community connections".

But while Musk also defended his donation by mentioning that he has donated almost $6 million to the Sierra Club, an environmentalist group fighting climate change, he is also helping keep fringe extremists in the Republican Party in power.

A number of them told Reuters, requesting anonymity, that the latest controversy is distracting Musk from Tesla's main business of producing electric cars.

Credit Twitter
Credit Twitter

He added the comments about him were an assault on the whole rescue team. Only people in sight were the Thai navy/army guys, who were great. In May, Tesla shares suffered a similar plunge after Musk's erratic performance.

The conflict between Musk and caver Vernon Unsworth started last week.

The interview spread through the weekend - until a Twitter user baited Musk into responding to it, just as he had been lured by another fan into devising his submarine. When the press, along with people actually working on the mission, failed to take his cave rescue plan seriously, Musk felt oppressed.

Considering the immensity of Musk's following and his net worth, the Brit could get a hefty settlement if he decides to pursue legal action.

"I'm not going to make any further comment about him", Unsworth continued.

The Tesla chief executive has also been criticized over his involvement in multiple local matters. Musk's critics have long said his bitter slugfests - with rivals, partners, analysts, journalists and employees, to name a few - have hamstrung Tesla on its vaunted mission to reshape the auto industry and change the world.

John Volanthen, an IT consultant, and Rick Stanton, a firefighter, were among the other divers that helped to bring the Wild Boar football team to safety after they became trapped in an underground cave network in the Chiang-Rai province for 18 days.

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