Elon Musk returned to a controversial — and some would say counterproductive — topic Tuesday night, launching a new round of tweets implying that the cave rescuer he accused of being a pedophile might actually be one.
On Wednesday, a lawyer said that he had sent Musk a letter threatening legal action and that he’s in the process of filing a libel suit against Musk on behalf of Vernon Unsworth, a diver instrumental in rescuing Thai children trapped in a cave in July.
“You published three different tweets to your twenty-two million followers that Mr. Unsworth engages in the sexual exploitation of Thai children, and you did so at a time when he was working to save the lives of twelve Thai children,” Unsworth attorney L. Lin Wood of Atlanta wrote in the letter.
The letter, which Wood said was sent to Musk’s Bel-Air home, said the lawyer is “in the process of preparing a civil complaint for libel against you.”
Musk has a reputation for going pugilistic on Twitter and investors have repeatedly asked him to cool it. The Securities and Exchange Commission is reportedly investigating an Aug. 7 tweet in which Musk claimed he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private; it turned out that he had not.
At least one Tesla investor — Ross Gerber of Santa Monica investment firm Gerber Kawasaki — said Wednesday that he’s getting tired of Musk’s antics.
“I’m pissed off,” Gerber said in an email.
Musk called Unsworth “pedo guy” in a July tweet, after the diver criticized Musk’s plan to rescue the children with a miniature submarine. On Tuesday, Musk responded to a Twitter user named Drew, who goes by @yoda.
“You don’t think it’s strange he hasn’t sued me?” Musk tweeted back. “He was offered free legal services…”
“Did you investigate at all? I’m guessing the answer is no,” Musk said in a continued back-and-forth.
Attorney Wood chimed in on the same thread Wednesday, saying, “@elonmusk should check his mail before tweeting.”
Asked whether Musk had received Wood’s letter, or whether the company had anything to say about Musk’s habit of kicking up controversy on his Twitter account, a Tesla spokeswoman said by email, “No further comment on this…”
On an up day for Wall Street, Tesla stock closed down 2.2%, to $305.01, on Wednesday.