Elon Musk Calls Thailand Rescue Diver "Child Rapist" In New Attack

Roman Schwartz
September 6, 2018

SpaceX and Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk renewed his attack on British cave diver Vernon Unsworth, who was instrumental in saving the lives of 12 schoolboys and their football coach marooned in a cave in Thailand for over 10 days in July.

In the emails, which Mr Musk, 47, claimed were off the record he said Mr Unsworth was "an old, single white guy from England who's been travelling to or living in Thailand for 30 to 40 years, mostly Pattaya Beach, until moving to Chiang Rai for a child bride who was about 12 years old at the time".

It stemmed from a comment made by Unsworth about a submarine Musk had built to help rescue a group of Thai boys who became trapped in the Tham Luang cave complex in northern Thailand earlier this year.

Unsworth, who said he was considering legal action after the original insults on Twitter, is now filing a lawsuit, his lawyer said in an email to the Guardian.

But in his correspondence with BuzzFeed's news reporter Ryan Mac, Musk doubled down on his accusations against the British diver, who was hailed by rescuers as having used his knowledge of the cave system and his connections in the cave diving community to marshal a response that ultimately freed the trapped youths. "The news about him being married to a 12-year-old child is laughable". Musk described Unsworth as "pedo guy" before betting a "signed dollar it's true". It isn't where you'd go for caves, but it is where you'd go for something else. Musk had unsuccessfully tried to help with the rescue mission. "Chiang Rai is renowned for child sex trafficking". Tesla is reportedly asking for deposits of around £38,000, while the list price of the vehicle is set to start at £151,000 - although those figures are based on the announced USA pricing of the auto, no United Kingdom numbers have been confirmed yet.

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In the second email, Musk gave more details about his involvement in the rescue.

Shirley O'Connor, Unsworth's sister, stated that the cave rescue hero was now traveling to Thailand and was unlikely to have heard of Musk's latest accusations.

Mr Musk provided no evidence for his initial jibe and later deleted the posts and apologised. Musk's emotional interview with the New York Times last month suggested his erratic behavior stemmed from a supremely stressful year.

Musk two weeks ago backed off his intention to take his company private - an idea he initially revealed to the public in a tweet.

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