To Slander a Hero
Real-life Iron Man, Elon Musk, who pioneered electric cars and plans to lead humanity into a glorious inter-planetary future has appeared in court after he labelled Vernon Unsworth, hero diver of the Tham Luang cave rescue last year, a ‘pedo guy’.
‘Pedo guy’ has since become ‘lawsuit guy’. He claims that Musk’s tweet left him feeling ‘raw, humiliated, ashamed and dirtied’ and that ‘it felt disgusting… Effectively I was given a life sentence without parole’.
The spat was triggered when Unsworth was interviewed on CNN and criticised Musk’s submarine plan to rescue the 12 trapped Thai boys and their football coach as a ‘PR stunt’. But Musk insists that he was entirely honest in his intentions.
That’s why in an attempt to vindicate his allegation, he had his manager hire private investigator James Howard, who was paid $52,000 to create a profile on Unsworth’s life in Thailand with a view to leak details to the press. Who would have thought that Musk was just as toxic as the fuel guzzling car industry he seeks to supplant?
‘He insulted me so I insulted him back’ was Musk’s defence in court. ‘I would like to make clear that I was not calling Mr Unsworth a paedophile… pedo guy is just a flippant is just a flippant, off-the-cuff insult that just means creepy old man’ – the tech maverick’s next project is rumoured to be a new encyclopaedia of ‘off-the-cuff’ insults.
Musk waded into the operation with his plan to rescue the trapped football team from the cave by transporting them to the surface in a small submarine. Leader of the rescue effort, Rick Stanton, had entertained the idea as a plan B if the team failed to rescue the boys themselves. Musk had put some of his staff on the job of designing and coordinating a submarine effort, he argued in court that ‘a lot of people worked day and night to be helpful – they left their families to help’. However, given the method of trial and error seen with some of the billionaire’s other projects, perhaps it’s better that no one got into his submarine in the end.
Musk faces the charge of defamation for his impulsive tweet and the trail continues, unless of course, he is able to relocate himself permanently to Planet Mars in the intervening period.