- The jury presiding over Elon Musk’s defamation trial reportedly took about 20 minutes to rule that the Tesla and SpaceX CEO was not guilty.
- The British cave explorer Vernon Unsworth sued Musk in 2018 after Musk called him a “pedo guy” on Twitter.
- Unsworth’s lawyers argued that the term “pedo guy” was widely interpreted as Musk suggesting the diver was a pedophile, but reports from the jury suggest their case wasn’t sufficient enough to prove the tweet was damaging.
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It did not take the Los Angeles jury presiding over Elon Musk’s trial long to deliberate before ruling that the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX was not guilty of defamation.
“It took us like 20 minutes,” the jury foreman told The Telegraph’s Olivia Rudgard.
The British diver Vernon Unsworth filed a lawsuit against Elon Musk last year after the outspoken CEO and chronic tweeter referred to him as “pedo guy.” The tweet came after a high-pressure cave-diving rescue mission in Thailand. Musk initially doubled down on his claim, replying to a follower that he would bet it was true but later apologised and deleted the tweet.
At the trial, Unsworth’s lawyers argued that the term “pedo guy” suggested Musk was saying the diver was a pedophile, but reports from the jury suggest their case wasn’t thorough enough to prove the tweet damaging.
The jury foreman told CNBC’s Jane Wells that Unsworth failed to meet all of the jury’s five criteria to prove that Musk’s “pedo guy” tweet was defamatory. Wells tweeted that the foreman said the jury’s criteria included whether Musk had used the same insult on others, whether it was true or false, whether a reasonable person would think he was calling the diver a pedophile, and whether Musk tried to determine that it was true.
Other members of the jury appeared less willing to talk, according to BuzzFeed’s Ryan Mac.
Aside from one juror, who said that “it was very clear” what the verdict would be, others seemed to steer clear from commenting on the case, Mac reported.