Elon Musk has denied sexually harassing a flight attendant in 2016, calling the allegation a smear effort. The claim was made public yesterday May 19 in a Business Insider post based on the testimony of a friend of the purported victim. Elon Musk requested the attendant to go into his cabin and offer him a full-body massage during a SpaceX corporate-jet flight in 2016, according to a document signed by the acquaintance.
“When the attendant arrived, Musk was entirely naked save for a sheet wrapping the lower half of his body,” according to Business Insider. “During the massage, Musk ‘exposed his genitals,’ then ‘touched her and suggested to purchase her a horse if she’d “do more,” referencing the performance of sex acts.”
The flight attendant lodged a complaint, which was settled in November of 2018 when SpaceX provided her a $250,000 severance payout “in exchange for a pledge not to litigate over the charges,” according to Business Insider.
In a Twitter thread over the last two days, Musk has disputed the charges, labeling them “wild accusations” which are “utterly wrong,” and challenged the flight attendant’s companion to name any element of his anatomy “that isn’t recognized by the public,” such as scars or tattoos. The SpaceX and Tesla CEO also called the Business Insider story a “hit job” published “before they ever talked to me” to “interfere with the Twitter acquisition.” (Musk recently received board approval for a $44 billion deal to buy Twitter. But it’s still unclear whether the sale will go through.)
“The assaults on me should be regarded via a political lens — this is their regular (despicable) script — but nothing will stop me from fighting for a better future and your freedom to free speech,” Musk wrote in another tweet late Thursday. The word “they” in this tweet appears to refer to Democrats or the left in general. Musk, for example, tweeted on Wednesday (May 18): “I used to vote Democratic because they were (usually) the party of kindness. But, because they’ve become the party of disunity, I will no longer vote for them and instead vote Republican.
Before publishing the story, Business Insider claims to have contacted Musk. As per Business Insider, when challenged about the claim, Musk asked for more time and stated that there is “a lot more about this tale.” According to Business Insider, Musk wrote via email, “If I were inclined to participate in sexual assault, this is probably to be the first occasion in my entire 30-year profession that it comes to light.” The narrative was also described as a “politically driven hit piece” by the millionaire entrepreneur.