Vernon Usworth, the British cave diver who helped rescue 12 boys and their soccer coach from a Thai cave over the summer, has filed a lawsuit against Tesla’s Elon Musk after Musk referred to him on social media and to Buzzfeed reporters as a pedophile.
Musk targeted Usworth after “cave rescuers rejected Musk’s offer of a mini-submarine created by his rocket company, SpaceX, to rescue the soccer team,” according to Reuters. Unsworth and his team felt the mini-submarine would not work to help rescue the boys. On July 15 Musk took to Twitter, writing, “Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it” after Unsworth told CNN Musks’ offer was simply a “publicity stunt” and he could “stick his submarine where it hurts.”
Musk later issued an apology over the offending tweet.
According to Reuters, the suit alleges Musk also urged Buzzfeed reporters to “stop defending child rapists” saying “Unsworth spent decades in Thailand until moving to Chiang Rai, renowned for sex trafficking to take a 12-year-old bride.”
Usworth says all of the accusations are false, with the lawsuit maintaining Musk’s comments “were manufactured out of whole cloth by Musk out of a belief on his part that his wealth and stature allowed him to falsely accuse Mr. Usworth with impunity” all because Usworth refused to use his mini-submarine.