Elon Musk says sorry for calling Thai cave rescuer a paedophile

By @chelean on
SpaceX founder Elon Musk
FILE PHOTO: SpaceX founder Elon Musk pauses at a press conference following the first launch of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., February 6, 2018. Reuters/Joe Skipper/File Photo

Elon Musk has apologised to the British cave diver for calling him a paedophile without basis or reason. The Telsa Inc co-founder was met with severe backlash for his unfounded claim against Vern Unsworth, one of the Thai cave divers who helped rescue the trapped 12 boys and their soccer coach.

Musk took offence when Unsworth called his efforts a “PR stunt” in an interview. When asked what he thought of Musk’s child submarine, which he brought to Thailand but was ultimately not used, Unsworth answered, “He can stick his submarine where it hurts.”

Musk being Musk didn’t let it pass and even fired up insults of his own. He claimed the water level in the cave wasn’t as dangerous as every rescuer involved in the mission had led the public to believe. He also called Unsworth “pedo guy,” meaning paedophile. He doubled down on his unfounded accusation when he was called out by his Twitter followers, saying “Bet ya a signed dollar it’s’ true.” The tweets have since been deleted.

Unsworth said on Monday he was considering legal action against Musk. “I believe he’s called me a paedophile,” he told the Guardian. “I think people realise what sort of guy [Musk] is.”

British caver Vern Unsworth talks during a Reuters interview at a hotel, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, July 17, 2018. British caver Vern Unsworth talks during a Reuters interview at a hotel, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, July 17, 2018.  Reuters/Soe Zeya Tun

On Wednesday, Musk has apologised for his outburst. He claimed he got angry because Unsworth’s “stick his submarine where it hurts” comment suggested that Musk should engage in a sexual act. He replied on a Twitter post linking a Quora article about the “full story” on Musk’s involvement in the rescue.

“As this well-written article suggests, my words were spoken in anger after Mr Unsworth said several untruths & suggested I engage in a sexual act with the mini-sub, which had been built as an act of kindness & according to specifications from the dive team leader,” he wrote.

“Nonetheless, his actions against me do not justify my actions against him, and for that I apologise to Mr Unsworth and to the companies I represent as leader,” he added. “The fault is mine and mine alone.”

It is claimed that Unsworth has been made aware of Musk’s apology but would not comment further.

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