The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, apologized for calling a British diver involved in the rescue of children in a cave in Thailand a “pedophile”.
There was no immediate public reaction from diver Vern Unsworth to Musk’s most recent tweets.
Musk’s initial tweet calling Unsworth “pederast” was a response to a television interview Unsworth gave. In it, he said Musk and SpaceX engineers orchestrated a “public relations trick” by sending a small submarine to help the divers rescue the 12 Thai soccer players and their trainer from a flooded cave. Unsworth said the submarine, which was not used, would not have served anyway.
“My words were spoken in anger after Mr. Unsworth said several falsehoods …” Musk tweeted.
“However, his actions against me do not justify my actions against him, and that is why I offer my apologies to Mr. Unsworth and the companies that I represent as a leader, the fault is mine and only mine.”
Musk’s Sunday tweet, which was later eliminated, had pushed investors away from Tesla shares, which fell nearly 3 percent on Monday, but recovered 4.1 percent on Tuesday. Unsworth told CNN this week that he is considering legal action. He did not respond to requests for comments from The Associated Press.
In his latest tweets, Musk said the mini sub was “created as an act of kindness and in accordance with the specifications of the diving team leader.”
Musk has 22.3 million followers and its active presence in social networks has sometimes worked well for Tesla. The company has said in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it does not need to be promoted because it receives a lot of attention from the media.
But the personal insult gave Musk unfavorable attention at a time when Tesla, with a value of more than $ 52 billion, is heavily indebted and struggling to achieve profitability.