Diver Behind Thai Soccer Team Rescue Sues Elon Musk Over Pedophile Remark

Vernon Unsworth alleges Musk falsely accused him of interest in children.

Vernon Unsworth
British diver Vernon Unsworth attend a thanksgiving reception in Bangkok on September 6, 2018 for the successful rescue by Thai and foreign volunteers on the 12 boys and their coach out of the flooded cave in northern Thailand. (ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images)

A British diver who was instrumental in the rescue of youth soccer players trapped in a cave in Thailand is suing Elon Musk, alleging that the SpaceX and Tesla founder falsely accused him of being a pedophile.

Vernon Unsworth claims that after Musk made the false accusations on Twitter, the tech mogul repeated multiple other falsehoods after the dramatic rescue of a dozen youth soccer plays and their coach in July, reports The Associated Press. The lawsuit, which was filed in Los Angeles federal court, asks for more than $750,000 in damages and a court order stopping Musk from making further allegations.

Musk tweeted to his 22.5 million followers that Unswroth was a “pedo” after Unsworth criticized Musk in a July 13 television interview with CNN about the rescue. Musk and engineers from his company, SpaceX, had created a small submarine to help with the rescue. The device was not used.

During the interview, Unsworth called it a “PR stunt” and said it wouldn’t have worked to help the boys. He said that Musk can “stick his submarine somewhere where it hurts,” according to AP. 

The lawsuit claims that Musk, angered by these comments, began a campaign to destroy Unsworth reputation “by publishing false and heinous accusations of criminality against him to the public.”

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