Billionaire Elon Musk lashed out on Twitter Friday, continuing to blast a published report that Hawthorne-based SpaceX, which he founded, paid $250,000 to settle a 2018 sexual misconduct complaint by a flight attendant working on one of the company’s jets.
“For the record, these wild accusations are untrue. I have a challenge to this liar who claims their friend saw me `exposed’ — describe just one thing, anything at all (scars, tattoos, …) that isn’t known by the public,” Musk tweeted early Friday after supporters asked whether the Business Insider story was true. “She won’t be able to do so, because it never happened.”
On Thursday, Business Insider — citing documents and interviews — reported that a flight attendant, who worked as a member of the cabin crew on a contract basis for SpaceX’s corporate jet fleet … accused Musk of exposing himself to her, rubbing her leg without consent, and offering to buy her a horse in exchange for an erotic massage.
“The incident, which took place in 2016, is alleged in a declaration signed by a friend of the attendant and prepared in support of her claim,” the website reported. “The details in this story are drawn from the declaration as well as other documents, including email correspondence and other records shared with Insider by the friend.”
Musk, who also co-founded Tesla, is making a bid to buy Twitter and announced this week that he plans to vote for Republican candidates after years of voting for Democrats. Musk said those recent developments likely prompted the Business Insider story.
“What are the odds of this being a coincidence,” he continued in a series of tweets. “It’s strange how their friend is the one who came forward, years after it supposedly happened while claiming they can’t stay silent. It’s a story based on hearsay. `My friend said.’ No proof.
“Moreover, the `friend’ in question who gave the interview to BI is a far left activist/actress in L.A. with a major political axe to grind.”
When asked if he had been interviewed for the story, Musk tweeted “No, it was clear that their only goal was a hit price to interfere with the Twitter acquisition. The story was written before they even talked to me.”
However, the story does include the following:
“After Insider contacted Musk for comment, he emailed to ask for more time to respond and said there is `a lot more to this story. If I were inclined to engage in sexual harassment, this is unlikely to be the first time in my entire 30-year career that it comes to light, he wrote, calling the story a `politically motivated hit piece.’ “
As Musk continued trading tweets with fans and supporters, and some critics, he expressed enthusiasm for one of the hashtags being used for the controversy — #Elon-gate.