TESLA tycoon Elon Musk has doubled down on his vile claim that a Brit caver who helped rescue a stranded Thai football team is a “paedo”.
The outspoken tech CEO, 47, called Vernon Unsworth, 63, a “child rapist” and claimed he moved to Thailand to find a child bride in a second baseless attack.
He repeated the baseless slur – denied by Unsworth’s lawyers – in an explosive email to Buzzfeed News.
He blasted: “He’s an old, single white guy from England who’s been travelling to or living in Thailand for 30 to 40 years, mostly Pattaya Beach, until moving to Chiang Rai for a child bride who was about 12 years old at the time.
“There’s only one reason people go to Pattaya Beach. It isn’t where you go for caves, but it is where you’d go for something else.
“Chiang Rai is renowned for child sex-trafficking.”
He added: “As for this alleged threat of a lawsuit, which magically appeared when I raised the issue (nothing was sent or raised beforehand), I hope he f*****g sues”.
His latest outburst comes after a US-based lawyer for Unsworth sent Musk a letter – by Fedex and electric mail – notifying him of a possible lawsuit.
The Brit is being represented by well-known L.Lin Wood P.C, of Atlanta, who are described as “powerhouse libel and defamation lawyers.”
Musk made his original allegations against Unsworth in mid July without any evidence, before later saying sorry and deleting his offending tweets.
In July, he claimed it was suspicious the 63-year-old lived in Thailand before explicitly branding him a “paedo” in one post.
Musk added: “Never saw this British expat guy who lives in Thailand (sus) at any point when we were in the caves.”
However he then tweeted: “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 & according to specifications from the dive team leader.
“Nonetheless, his actions against me do not justify my actions against him, and for that I apologize to Mr. Unsworth and to the companies I represent as leader. The fault is mine and mine alone.”
The billionaire then took to Twitter again to question why the Brit hadn’t sued him in wake of the remarks.
Musk wrote: “You don’t think it’s strange he hasn’t sued me? He was offered free legal services.”
In a tense Twitter exchange with a journalist he added: “Did you investigate at all? I’m guessing answer is no. Why?”
Unsworth is a British expat and caver who lives near the Tham Luang tunnel network where the 12 boys and their football coach were trapped for more than two weeks.
He was scathing of Musk’s offer to send a mini-submarine to help in the rescue efforts, which he dismissed as “just a PR stunt” and said the billionaire could “stick the submarine where it hurts.”
Mr Musk’s initial accusation was widely criticised – with Mr Unsworth admitting the public spat had upset his family.
“It’s taken a bit of the pleasure out of what’s happened, what we’ve achieved, for me anyway. It’s very much upset my daughter,” he said in July.
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Mr Unsworth’s lawyer, L. Lin Wood, has strongly denied the latest accusation.
“Elon Musk can tweet his vindictive and vicious lie about Mr. Unsworth a hundred times and it will still be a lie,” Wood wrote in a statement to Buzzfeed.
“After deleting the initial accusation and tweeting an apology, Mr Musk has continued to republish his false and unsupportable accusation.
“His conduct demonstrates that his recklessness is intentional and designed to harm Mr. Unsworth.”
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