Vernon Unsworth, a British cave diver who was reportedly “instrumental” in rescuing the 12 youth soccer players trapped in a northern Thailand, was called a “pedo” by Elon Musk in a bizarre Twitter rant. As a result of the now-deleted tweet, Unsworth said he is considering legal action after the Tesla-CEO’s attack.
Musk — apparently angry that Unsworth said that his submarine “had absolutely no chance of working” — said in a since-deleted tweet “You know what, don’t bother showing the video. We will make one of the mini-sub/pod going all the way to Cave 5 no problemo. Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it.”
In response to Musk’s comments, Unsworth told The Guardian that he thinks “people realize what sort of guy [Musk] is.” Furthermore, when asked if he was considering taking legal action, Unsworth told reporters: “Yes, it’s not finished.”
via The Guardian:
Musk was responding to an interview Unsworth gave on Sunday in which he said a child-sized submarine the Tesla chief executive delivered to the cave site last week “had absolutely no chance of working”.
In a series of tweets on Sunday, Musk said he would produce a video proving his submarine would have been able to reach the children and in a comment directed at Unsworth, added: “Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it.”
Unsworth, 63, who lives in Thailand, was among the first divers on the scene in Mae Sai after the boys from the Wild Boars football team and their coach became trapped inside on 23 June. Rescuers have said he used his knowledge of the cave system and networks in the cave diving community to marshal a response that was crucial in locating the boys 10 days later, and helping to free them last week.
Unsworth said he had saved copies of Musk’s tweets and believed that the businessman had “lost the plot”, adding: “I have a lot of support from people around the world astonished by his unfounded comments.”
Mark Stephens, a lawyer at Howard Kennedy, called Musk’s actions “a cast iron case of libel” and that Unsworth will “undoubtedly be able to sue.”
Musk has since deleted the tweets and has not responded to a request for comment. As a result of Musk’s comments, Tesla’s share price fell more than 3 percent on Monday, July 16.
Mr. Unsworth, screenshot via YouTube