Elon Musk is seeking to dismiss a defamation lawsuit brought against him by a British cave diver, who Musk called “pedo guy” and a “child rapist,” according to court documents filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.
Musk hurled his attacks at Vernon Unsworth last summer during a mission to save 12 young boys and their soccer coach who were trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand. The Tesla CEO made the attacks after Unsworth criticized his proposal to use a small submarine for the rescue mission.
“He can stick his submarine where it hurts,” Unsworth said in a CNN interview. “It just had absolutely no chance of working.”
Unsworth sued Musk in September for libel and slander and is seeking $75,000 in damages. Musk’s lawyers are now trying to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that the “over-the-top insults” were exaggerated and not intended to be taken seriously, CNBC reported.
“Shocked by Unsworth’s indefensible and baseless attacks, Musk answered to defend himself and the efforts of SpaceX, Tesla, and the Boring Company employees who had given up their days and nights to help find a solution,” the motion to dismiss said. “Musk took to Twitter — a social networking website infamous for invective and hyperbole — to respond.”
The motion also claims that a public apology issued by Musk earlier this year was an attempt to “end the war of words.”