Besieged Tesla boss Elon Musk has apologised after calling a British cave diver “pedo guy” and provoking a(nother) huge online backlash.
After levelling the bizarre insult at Vern Unsworth on 15 July, a couple of days of reflection had obviously left Musk in a calmer frame of mind. Across two Tweets he wrote:
“My words were spoken in anger after Mr Unsworth said several untruths & suggested I engage in a sexual act with the mini-sub, which had been built as an act of kindness and according to specifications from the dive team leader.
“Nonetheless, his actions against me do not justify my actions against him, and for that I apologise to Mr Unsworth and to the companies I represent as leader. The fault is mine and mine alone.”
Vern Unsworth was one of the team of divers who helped to extract a young football team and their coach, who were all stuck in what became known as ‘Cave Five’ at the Tham Luang cave complex in Thailand.
Musk had built a miniature submarine capable of holding a person, complete with its own oxygen supply, with the hope that rescue teams could use it to extract the stranded minors. It seemed like a pretty decent thing to do, but the row began when Unsworth coarsely dismissed the machine’s chances of success in a media interview and said Musk could “stick his submarine where it hurts.”
SpaceX chief Musk then responded with a Tweet saying he’d make his own video showing the mini-sub “going all the way to Cave 5 no problemo,” followed by “Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it.”
Unsworth, who lives in the Asian country, has never had any charges brought against him for any criminal activity, according to a Reuters report that cites an unnamed local Thai police officer.
Lawyers from Britain and the US, all of whom have caught the scent of a fat payday, have apparently now approached Unsworth to offer their services for what would be a high-profile lawsuit.