Childish tech guru Elon Musk has again made unsubstantiated allegations that the British diver who rescued the Thai footballers trapped in the Chiang Rai cave is a paedophile.
Vernon Unsworth vigorously denies the allegations. Tesla’s share price has now lost almost a quarter of its value since he became the subject of a stock price manipulation investigation after suggesting he was going to take the company private and falsely claiming he already secured funding to do so.
The billionaire Tesla owner, when asked to comment on Unsworth’s legal action against his initial tweets, repeated his claims.
Apparently keen to generate income for the legal profession, Musk emailed BuzzFeed saying Unsworth was a “child rapist” who moved to Thailand for a “child bride” without offering evidence.
“I suggest that you call people you know in Thailand, find out what’s actually going on and stop defending child rapists, you f*cking asshole,” the blundering tycoon said in an email to Buzzfeed.
“He’s 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. There’s only one reason people go to Pattaya beach. It isn’t where you’d go for caves, but it is where you’d go for something else.”
The financial broker, who now lives in Thailand, was the first rescuer at the scene and played a key role in the dangerous but successful mission.
The PayPal founder first accused Unsworth of being a paedophile after he dismissed Musk’s suggestions to save the footballers using a bespoke miniature submarine.
After criticism, Musk bet another Twitter user “a signed dollar” his accusations were true.
The 12 Thai boys and their coach were rescued over three days without Musk’s help.
After a backlash from within Tesla, Musk apologised for his comments, saying his words were “spoken in anger” in response to Unsworth making “several untruths” about the “impractical” submarine.
In July, Musk and his team delivered a “kid-sized submarine” to the Tham Luang cave in an attempt to help rescue the boys.
Unsworth ridiculed Musk’s submarine as a “PR stunt”, saying Musk was asked to leave the cave and implied Musk should stick the five-foot-long, 12-inch-wide metal tube up his backside.
On July 18, facing a major investor backlash, Musk tweeted: “Mr Unsworth said several untruths & suggested I engage in a sexual act with the mini-sub.”
On August 28, Musk tweeted that it was “strange” that Unsworth had not yet sued him. A day later, Buzzfeed reported Unsworth engaged a lawyer and was preparing to sue Musk.
Elon Musk has provided a sour note to the overwhelmingly positive rescue story. Picture credit: Flickr