The boy genius Elon Musk, who has already dug himself a wonderful hole by baselessly defaming British cave diving hero Vern Unsworth by calling him “pedo guy”, now apparently feels sufficiently confident that he can dig himself out.
At least, that’s the message Musk’s lawyer seems like he wants to get across. Musk will be testifying in his own defense against the lawsuit, according to Reuters, who reported the news based on a statement from Musk’s lawyer on Tuesday.
Of course, we can’t help but think this statement in and of itself is a bit of show – Musk really wouldn’t have a choice but to be examined by the plaintiff in a civil trial to begin with, based on our understanding of civil litigation. So his “decision” to testify may not actually be a “decision” at all.
And if Musk’s lawyer’s interpretation of the events is anything like what his testimony will look like, we can’t wait for Unsworth’s attorney, L. Lin Wood, to have his chance to question Musk
Musk’s lawyer, Alexander Spiro, said: “Evidence is going to be through Mr. Musk (testifying) that in fact Mr. Musk didn’t call him a pedophile. Mr. Musk deleted the tweet, apologized and moved on.”
Sure, if by “moved on”, you mean “referred to Unsworth as a ‘child rapist’ in correspondence with journalists” and “taunted Unsworth to sue him”.
Unsworth is also expected to testify to “his worries, his anxieties, his concern by being branded a pedophile,” his lawyer said. Both sides seem uninterested in settling the case.
Meanwhile, the case will be undergoing its second day of pretrial hearings on Tuesday to determine what evidence will be admissible in next week’s civil trial. Last week, Judge Stephen Wilson rejected Musk’s attempt to have the lawsuit dismissed and ruled that Unsworth was not a public figure, making it easier for him to prove defamation. Musk had previously argued that Unsworth had become a public figure due to the Thailand cave rescue and that Unsworth needed to prove “actual malice”.
Unsworth can now win the suit by showing that Musk acted negligently while making his comments.