Elon Musk's 'pedo' slur: British cave diver considers legal action

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British diver Vern Unsworth, a volunteer who played a key role in organizing the rescue, said in an interview Friday with CNN that the submarine was "a PR stunt".

Musk personally visited Thailand to deliver the sub, but numerous boys had already been rescued by the time he arrived, and Unsworth, who lives in Thailand and has spent years exploring the Tham Luang cave system where the boys were trapped, called Musk's actions a "PR stunt" and said the sub had "absolutely no chance of working". Musk didn't name Unsworth in his series of tweets over the weekend, though he said he would make a video to prove that the mini sub could have helped in the rescue.

Sunday's tweets came just two days after a Bloomberg interview in which Musk said he was trying to stop attacking people on Twitter.

He said of Musk that he can "stick his submarine where it hurts".

Unsworth's wife told Reuters on Monday that her husband was returning to Britain on July 19, where he will speak to lawyers. Asked which law firm he would hire, he said: "I don't know yet".

At one stage, he tweeted some email correspondence to hit back at claims by the rescue mission chief, Narongsak Osottanakorn, that Musk's mini-submarine was not practical.

Mr O'Donnell said Mr Musk has fallen into a "hero worship persona" but has failed to live up to the responsibility that implies.

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Loup Ventures published an open letter to Musk on behalf of investors, saying the comments to Unsworth "crossed the line" and calling for an apology.

Zhao said he believed Musk originally had "good intentions", but that "humanitarian rescues ... are professional tasks so we should trust others with local community connections".

One of Tesla's largest investors said last week that Musk should lay off Twitter and focus on the "peace and execution" of the company's production goals. Tesla shares fell from $318.87 on Friday's close to $307.20 in after-hours trading on Monday, Reuters reports, stripping nearly $2 billion from the company's market value.

Musk's critics have long said his bitter slugfests - with rivals, partners, analysts, journalists and employees, to name a few - have hamstrung Tesla on its vaunted mission to reshape the auto industry and change the world.

"He had no conception of what the cave massage was like", said Unsworth, whose intimate knowledge of the cave was reportedly pivotal to the successful rescue effort. "Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it". "I should probably say nothing more often".

Tesla said last week that it had sold more than 200,000 vehicles in the United States to date, the point at which a company's tax credits begin to decline.

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