Elon Musk need to protect himself in court after calling a diver who conserved Thai schoolboys caught in a cave a paedophile, a Los Angeles judge says.
The federal court judge set a 22 October trial date.
Mr Musk is being sued by Vern Unsworth, who helped save the 12 boys from Thailand’s Tham Luang caves.
The Tesla manager called Mr Unsworth a “pedo” in a Twitter post after the Briton stated Mr Musk’s attempt to help in the rescue was a “PR stunt”.
Why has this concerned court?
Mr Unsworth assisted recruit knowledgeable UK cavern divers, who contributed in releasing the boys who had ended up being stuck in the cavern due to increasing water levels in July2018
While efforts were continuous, Mr Musk sent out engineers from his Tesla business and a little submarine to Thailand to assist free the boys. It was never ever used.
In an interview with CNN, Mr Unsworth called Mr Musk’s efforts a “promotion stunt”.
Reacting in a series of tweets, Mr Musk elaborated on how the submarine may work and described Mr Unsworth as “pedo guy”.
Mr Musk soon apologised and deleted the offending tweets, stating he had actually acted “in anger”.
However he reignited the row in September.
In an e-mail to a Buzzfeed press reporter, he implored the reporter to “discover what’s actually going on” and suggested the scuba diver had actually taken no part in the cave rescue.
Mr Unsworth is seeking a minimum of $75,000(₤57,700) in payment plus punitive damages in his September 2018 lawsuit.
The suit likewise looks for a court order preventing Mr Musk from making any further disparaging comments.
He stated the Tesla chief executive disparaged him with “illegal, unsupportable and reprehensible allegations”, according to court documents.
In looking for a dismissal, Mr Musk’s attorneys argued the comments were “imaginative” or “over-the-top” insults in the heat of the minute that were secured under the United States First Amendment.
However the judge said Mr Musk was not communicating in “heated and unpredictable” settings that may explain any excesses.