Elon Musk denies sexual harassment allegations against a SpaceX flight attendant in 2016
Elon Musk has denied allegations that he sexually harassed a SpaceX flight attendant in a series of late-night tweets in 2016.
The tweet comes after Business Insider reported that SpaceX paid a $250,000 settlement in 2018 after a SpaceX flight attendant alleged sexual misconduct against the billionaire.
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The article quoted an anonymous person saying she was a friend of the flight attendant. According to the report, the friend had stated as part of the private settlement process.
Citing documents and interviews, Business Insider reported that “the attendant worked on a contract basis as a cabin crew member for SpaceX’s corporate jet fleet.”
“She accused Musk of exposing his erect penis to her, rubbing her leg without permission, and offering to buy her a horse in exchange for an erotic massage,” the report said.
The flight attendant came to believe that her refusal to accept Musk’s proposal had hurt her chances of working at SpaceX and prompted her to hire a lawyer in 2018, according to Business Insider.
Elon Musk says the allegations that he exposed himself to a private jet flight attendant are untrue. Credit: AP
The missile company made the settlement out of court, adding a nondisclosure agreement that prevented the flight attendant from discussing it, Business Insider said in the report on Thursday. T
The news site did not name the friend or the flight attendant.
In a tweet, Friday morning, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX responded to the reports.
“I have a challenge for this liar who claims their friend saw me ‘exposed’,” he tweeted.
“Describe only one thing, everything (scars, tattoos, …) unknown to the public.
“She won’t be able to do that because it never happened.”
In asking Insider for more time to respond to the allegations, Musk said there’s “a lot more to this story.”
“If I were pioneered sexual harassment, this probably wouldn’t be the first time in my 30-year career that it’s come to light,” he told Business Insider.
Nicholas Carlson, the editor-in-chief of Insider, Business Insider’s parent publication, took to Twitter to respond to Musk’s denial.
“We stand by our story, which is based on documents and interviews and is self-explanatory,” a tweeted statement read.
The outlet also said Musk characterized the story as a “politically motivated hit piece.”
In separate tweets, Musk denied ever responding to Business Insider as they reported the story. He attempted to link the article to his Thursday announcement that he will “vote Republican” and his bid to acquire Twitter — a deal he agreed to. He recently made “on hold”.
“Have you responded to the BI reporters?” a user tweeted on Musk.
“No,” Musk replied, “clearly their only goal was a hit price (sic) to disrupt Twitter acquisition. The story was written before they even talked to me.”
“They started brewing all kinds of attacks as soon as the Twitter acquisition was announced,” Musk added in a separate tweet.
“In my 30-year career, including the entire MeToo era, there’s nothing to report, but as soon as I say I intend to restore free speech on Twitter and vote Republican, suddenly something happens.”
The publication reached out to Musk about the story in question before tweeting about voting Republican, according to John Cook, the investigative editor at Insider.
“For those interested, we reached out to the directors at 9:00 a.m. eastern yesterday (Wednesday, May 18) for comment on this story,” Cook said on Twitter.
Musk’s tweet announcing his voting intentions was posted at 2:44 p.m. ET on Wednesday, though he also commented in a virtual interview posted to YouTube on May 16.
The Business Insider article states it “extended the deadline and reiterated the offer to Musk to comment on the claims”.
“He didn’t respond.”
SpaceX did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.