Musk Repeats “Pedo” Attack On British Explorer Who Helped Rescue Thai Boys In Cave [Updated]

220px-The_ScreamElon Musk appears to be withdrawing his earlier apology and doubling down on his bizarre personal attack on Vernon Unsworth, who helped rescue the young soccer players and their coach from the Tham Luang cave complex in northern Thailand.   Musk suggested Unsworth was a pedophile after Unsworth criticized Musk’s rescue submarine. Now Musk is asking why Unsworth did not sue him and why reporters never investigated the allegation — a suggestion that “truth is a defense” defamation. Update: Unsworth counsel has now confirmed that a lawsuit is being prepared.

Unsworth began the heated exchange with an unwarranted attack on Musk for simply designed and sending a rescue submarine to the cave.  It was not likely to be used but Unsworth seemed unhinged by the gesture, stating Mush could “stick [it] where it hurts.”

That clearly was too much for Musk who called Unsworth a “pedo guy”, later tweeting: “Bet ya a signed dollar it’s true.” He later deleted both tweets and apologized.

That should be the end of the matter, but Musk rekindled the controversy on Tuesday night in responding to another critic on Twitter by noting “You don’t think it’s strange [Unsworth] hasn’t sued me? He was offered free legal services . . . Did you investigate at all? I’m guessing answer is no. Why?” he wrote in subsequent tweets that are still online.

drew olanoff

@yoda

one other thing, elon. your dedication to facts and truth would have been wonderful if applied to that time when you called someone a pedo.

Elon Musk

@elonmusk

You don’t think it’s strange he hasn’t sued me? He was offered free legal services. And you call yourself @yoda

For his part, Unsworth told Sky News on Wednesday that he declined to respond to the attack and added: “It’s all being dealt with, that’s all I can say.”

Truth is indeed a defense to defamation, but there is no evidence to support the libelous claim that Unsworth is a pedophile.  This would constitute a per se category for slander.  The common law has long treated some types of states as raising per se claims where special damages or proof are unnecessary. These include criminal offenses; loathsome diseases; allegations incompatible with business, trade, profession, or office; and serious sexual misconduct or moral turpitude. This would be a criminal allegation against Unsworth as well as moral turpitude.
Moreover, Unsworth is likely a non-public figure (though Musk could argue that he is either a public figure or limited public figure due to his media profile as an explorer).  New York Times v. Sullivan places public officials (and later public figures) under a higher standard for defamation in the case: requiring a showing of actual malice or knowing disregard of the truth.  That makes it more difficult to prove defamation if you are a public figure.
What is clear is that Musk is now rivaling Donald Trump in legally problematic tweets and must be causing his counsel considerable angina.

55 thoughts on “Musk Repeats “Pedo” Attack On British Explorer Who Helped Rescue Thai Boys In Cave [Updated]”

  1. Peter Hill,
    Your post was displayed on my I-Phone like t
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    , but I think I got the gist of it.
    Those defending the activities of the DNC, Fusion GPS, Christopher Steele, and others involved in funding, compiling, or communicating the content of the Steele Russian Dossier usually go into what an objective, noble, valuable resource Christopher Steele is.
    That view of Steele is not universal.
    You can read “Chris Steele’s friends describe a 007 figure, but M-16 call him an idiot”. – From THE DAILY MAIL, JAN. 13, 2017.
    Steele has not been in Russia since the early 1990s. He has been a businessman, as a founder of ORBIS, since 2009.
    He used contacts who in turn used sources to feed back information to him, and the result is a largely unverified dossier based on second or third hand sources.
    Ohr has already been demoted at DOJ. After the FBI found out that Steele had been contacting the media, and briefing them on contents of the dossier, they no longer maintained an “informant/ agency” relationship with Steele.
    The criminal referral to DOJ requests answers about Steele’s alleged lying to the FBI when asked by them if he had gone to the press.
    Yet after the the FBI became aware of Steele’s pre-election contacts witj the media, Ohr maintained contact with Steele.
    It appears that ge did not disclose that little detail that his wife worked for Fusion GPS, the firm that happened to choose Steele for the Russian oppostion research on Trump.
    I would need to review the IG Report on the conduct of tge Ohrs, and some of the emails/ texts exchanged between the parties, but IG Horowitz uncovered the relationship of the Ohrs to Fusion and to Steele.
    That news broke in late 2017, and I think Ohr was demoted at about the same time.
    IG Horowitz has completed one report of his findings of the FBI/DOJ conduct related to the 2016 campaign.
    He has also issued some recommendations about avoiding a replay of this kind of involvement of the FBI and the DOJ in future presidential campaigns.
    Strzok was initially demoted, then fired after his activities in the 2016 election cycle were uncovered.
    Ohr has already been demoted, and the investigation into his activities is ongoing.
    His demotion appears to be based on the surreptitious and unauthorized contact with Steele, and his failure to disclose his wife’s work with Fusion GPS.
    If it is determined that Ohr, or the Ohrs, were involved in feeding allegations from the Russian Dossier to the media, or that they have lied in their testimony, that would likely be grounds for Bruce Ohr’s dismissal.
    There were comprehensive investigations and reforms at the FBI and CIA post-Watergate in the 1970s.
    The objective was to rein in some of the excesses and abuses of these agencies that had come to light.
    Common sense should dictate that you do not want highly partisan, high-ranking FBI and DOJ officials leading investigations that can impact election results.
    Reforms intitiated out of the experiences of this 2016 farce might do what common sense did not do.

    1. Tom, I’m not affected. It all sounds like the spin of some weasel at Fox. Self-righteous nonsense in which conservatives presume the airs of liberal sensibilities. Like real liberals should be humbled by this indictment of their values.

      Trump supporters constantly crave more enemies to despise. And Christopher Steele is the perfect boogyman. A former secret agent with contacts in Russia; working indirectly for the Clinton campaign. The perfect fall guy to blame for the Russia probe.

      The truth is that Donald Trump constantly behaves like a paranoid buffoon. What’s more the business media long-questioned Trump’s connections. His entire campaign for president was ethically challenged. Trump flat-out refused to show his income taxes. You can’t blame that on Steele.

      Steele was just the cop who ran a license plate. Which traced to a billionaire who’s highly abusive. So now this billionaire is obsessed with destroying the cop.

      1. Right….just a cop who ran a license plate.😊😄😂
        I didn’t expect you to be “affected”, Peter; political weaponing of high level FBI/DOJ officials is a great idea is you like the target.

      2. Peter,…
        Not sure if my reply will eventually post or not post.
        David Brock may be hiring shills again….you may want to see if there are any positions you can fill in that capacity, or maybe writing for ShareBlue.

        1. Tom, I thought it was established, long ago, that I’m a ‘shill’ for David Brock. Not that I am, mind you. But in the world of Trumpland, I thought that was decided. Like normal, sane people naturally ‘love’ Donald Trump. And ‘only’ professional shills would write anything negative.

      3. Peter Hill – we flat out know that Christopher Steele did not want Trump to be President before he started “looking” for dirt. We flat out know that there is no requirement that candidates have to show their income tax returns.

        1. So because candidates aren’t ‘required’ to show their taxes, Trump is ‘fine’ on that? I don’t get the logic. By almost any objective measure, Trump is trying to hide something. Like loans from Russian billionaires..?

          The point is that Christopher Steele barely accounts for Trump’s numerous lapses of ethics and accountability.

  2. The only reason Trump wants Ohr fired is because he is an expert in Russian organized crime.

    By Adam Goldman:

    WASHINGTON — “When a lawyer for one of Russia’s most powerful reputed crime bosses arrived at F.B.I. headquarters one day around 2006, he wanted to cut a deal. The Russian, Semion Y. Mogilevich, had been indicted three years earlier by the department on charges of defrauding a company outside Philadelphia out of $150 million and could not travel for fear of arrest.

    As the lawyer made his pitch, a supervising F.B.I. agent and a senior career Justice Department official, Bruce G. Ohr, both listened intently, according to a former bureau official who described the meeting. The case was significant for American law enforcement. It had made headlines and laid the groundwork for Justice Department efforts to combat Russian organized crime overseas.

    Finally, the F.B.I. agent spoke. No deal, he said; Mr. Mogilevich must surrender. Mr. Ohr said little, but his unwillingness to negotiate was signal enough: The Justice Department would not compromise with the Russian mafia.”

    1. Samsung,
      The quote from Goldman’s article mentions an incident from 2006.
      There are some events from 2016 which may be more relevant to the fact that Ohr has been demoted, and that he’s in making the news.
      Ohr was in contact with Christopher Steele after the FBI cut ties with Steele for contacting the media.
      Ohr’s wife worked for Fusion GPS, which just happened to be the firm that chose Steele, the author of the Russian Dossier.
      There are allegedly conflicting statements from the Ohrs, Fusion’s Glenn Simpson, and others about the events related to the nature of these contacts and relationships.
      I doubt that Ohr’s supposed expertise in “Russian organized crime” is “the only reason Trump wants Ohr fired”.

      1. These claims come from the bought off by a golf game, Fox news/Daily Caller conspiracists, don’t sign up for wrestling with this coach, and there’s no evidence so let’s smear people wings of the GOP. Until there is evidence presented by sane, intelligent grown-ups of the GOP [if there are any left], I’ll take a pass.

        And, I should have said the only reason Trump and Putin want Ohr fired…….

        1. Samsung,
          If you think the associations that I mentioned would only look suspicious to “Fox News/ Daily Caller conspiracists”, you’re even dumber than I thought.

          1. If you are correct, then team Trump needs better spokespeople than Meadows, Gaetz, Jordan, Hannity, Carlson, Nunes, Hemingway, etc. because these folks are laughable and not credible.

            1. The news about Bruce and Nellie Ohr,
              Christopher Steele, Glenn Simpson, and others is not exclusive to Fox News or The Daily Caller.
              A the tired, ad nauseam “Fox News” retort, as if making some sort of point, does not change the fact that other publications have covered the Ohr(s)-Steele-Simpson relationship.

              1. Tom, explain to us why any contact of Christopher Steele’s should be drummed out of the Justice Department. Steele’s expertise was considered valuable until Trump and his supporters turned their wrath on him.

                No one has proven Christopher Steele is malicious. Nor has it been proven that Christopher Steele is unreliable. Steele just happened to flag Donald Trump as someone with dubious ties. Which was widely speculated in business journals long before the dossier.

  3. 1. This morning Trump tweeted: “When you see “anonymous source,” stop reading the story, it is fiction!”

    2. Shortly after that, Axios reported, based on multiple anonymous sources, that Don McGahn will be stepping down after Kavanaugh is confirmed.

    3. Shortly after that, president tweets that McGahn is stepping down after Kavanaugh is confirmed.

    I don’t know why anyone falls for Trump’s BS any more. But they sure do!

        1. Just reporting the facts which are all on the record.

          If you want to attribute factual reporting to the democrats, go for it.

          1. Samsung,..
            If you and other clowns like you want to attribute facts on the record to “Fox News/ Daily Caller conspiracists”, go for it.

      1. that’s what the Orthodox say when there is a new bishop consecrated, “worthy” ἄξιος

        if you mean that website, it has some good tech articles

        i have no clue why they picked a Greek hail word for their website but a lot of people like to culturally misappropriate from the Greeks. Who have never complained much about it, however.

        1. And they also have excellent anonymous sourcing from the White House, as confirmed by Mr. Trump shortly after their story.

          1. Samsung,
            CNN, VOX, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, AND POLITICO are among other media outlets reporting on the relationships between the Ohrs, Christopher Steele, and Glenn Simpson’s Fusion GPS.

      2. You could google it.

        Oh, and BTW, if you google your name and the news that comes up is awful, humiliating, revealing of poor character or lack of preparation, etc., the problem isn’t google.

            1. samsung is a chaebol with a reputation for innovation and quality.
              is that you? I kind of assumed it was a nom de plume as are most here.
              what pray tell are you saying?

  4. This whole situation is bananas.

    Unsworth made a very strange insult against Musk that not only amounted to stick it up your rear, but indicated such an act would hurt. Which could be construed to a sodomizing assault joke. All this is taking place in a country infamous for pedophile and sexual tourists. Maybe it just sounds unusual to Americans and is a common insult elsewhere.

    Musk then explicitly called Unsworth a pedophile, perhaps based on the cliched assumptions of a Western man living in Thailand. Maybe Unsworth is MI6. Maybe he’s a spelunker. Based on his own comment to Musk, maybe he’s something darker.

    Regardless, you can think what you want, but if you accuse anyone in public of being a pedophile, you had better have some sort of proof to back it up. So prove it or shut it. Musk has googolplex finances. If he thinks it’s true he should have quietly investigated the man and triumphantly had him arrested. Or he could have similarly cleared him.

    These innuendo and insult wars are beneath grown men.

    Now, if you want reality TV quarrels, what I would find interesting would be an arena where the opponents would trade the most creative, interesting insults they can imagine, to be judged by a TV audience. Drama, imagination, and rapier wit.

  5. It is obvious that Musk knows something that Unsworth knows that most of us don’t know.
    He keeps baiting Unsworth to make him shut up, but Unsworth is not taking the bait.
    One can only ponder why, as Musk wants us all to do.

  6. So happy to see that you finally got the insult to Trump in, even if it was at the end of the post.

  7. I’ve done some caving……By permit & check in with park rangers

    I’m not sure if there are Thai park rangers who regulate by permit, any hiking in this cave. Next is the Thai soccer coach. Did the parents know & give consent to the cave hike?

  8. What is the ethnic origin of a name like Elon? Is it from another planet? Is it a
    “cave name”? Why doe we always hear about Elon on the media? Caveman needs to shoot him with a musket.

  9. I think Musk is having a meltdown. However, that is not a legal defense. I read a book about him and I could never work for him, I would kill him, literally, and stand beside the body. What he does to employees is criminal.

  10. Unsworth offers a graceless but (one suspects) accurate assessment of the utility of one of Musk’s devices. Musk replies with a random slander which accuses Unsworth of the one thing for which people are shunned in our de-moralized society. You’re calling this a draw? Are you trying te persuade us to never listen to the moral judgements of law professors?

    1. it doesnt come much smarter than Musk. you guys hate him and maybe he says some stupid things and talks to much but he gets a hell of a lot of good things done too. as billionaires go i personally like him but then again I like DJT too so there must be some connection. no doubt it relates to my own personality defects.

    2. Musk has accomplished more than 99.99 people do in a lifetime. He is a technological genius and industrialist par excellence. Really this is the kind of immigrant we should all pray that we receive. Musk is often reviled for trivial things but it would help if he stopped casting pearls before the trivial swine who obsess over tweeter.

      1. Mr Kurtz – it wouldn’t be trivial if you worked for him or was married to him. 😉 I do admire how he laid out his plant, not how he abused his employees.

        1. i have had abusive bosses and abusive clients and abusive adversaries and more….

          not all abusive people are the same. some people employ pressure to get their way, maybe that’s some vain selfish hedonistic thing. but some bend their abuse to the accomplishment of socially significant achievements. like space travel and mass transportation innovations.

          Musk is not saint, but he is a net contributor to society in a big way. people should have some respect for what he’s accomplished.

          the age of social media just wants to tear people down and their are teeming hordes of useless people out there biting away at Musk, an elephant, like a horde of noxious tse tse flies

  11. Maybe Mr. Unsworth doesn’t consider it worthy of his time to file a claim for damages against Elon Musk. I never heard of Mr. Unsworth before this entire rescue situation started. This is not to diminish his status as possibly a public figure; it’s just that I don’t actively follow British explorers.

    At this point, I think Musk could reasonably assert an insanity defense, based upon his many inaccurate statements about his car company. I don’t know if it would be validated, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he were to do exactly that if this case were initiated.

    I have my own opinions about Musk, and most of them would be fought vigorously by his supporters. But I definitely see a similarity with President Trump and his quick response to minor issues and attacks directed against him.

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