Elon Musk has again made unsubstantiated allegations that Vernon Unsworth, the British diver involved in the rescue of Thai boys trapped in a cave, is a paedophile – claims Mr Unsworth denies.
In response to a request for comment regarding Mr Unsworth’s legal action against Mr Musk for his initial claims, the billionaire businessman repeated his allegations.
In an email exchange with BuzzFeed News, the Tesla chief executive said Mr Unsworth was a “child rapist” who moved to Thailand for a “child bride” – claims Mr Musk offered no evidence to support.
Mr Unsworth helped Thai rescue teams in the operation
“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.”
Mr Unsworth has denied Mr Musk’s accusations through his lawyer.
The financial broker from St Albans, Hertfordshire, who now lives in Thailand, was the first foreign rescuer at the scene and played a crucial role in the operation.
Mr Musk first accused Mr Unsworth of being a paedophile after the caver dismissed Mr Musk’s suggestions to save the trapped group using a miniature submarine.
Mr Musk branded Mr Unsworth a “pedo [sic]” in a tweet he later deleted.
All boys and their coach were rescued in a successful three-day operation without Mr Musk’s help.
Mr Unsworth said he was considering taking legal action after Mr Musk made the unfounded allegation.
Mr Musk apologised for his comments, saying his words were “spoken in anger” in response to Mr Unsworth speaking “several untruths” about the “impractical” submarine.
After the successful rescue of the Thai boys, Mr Unsworth was honoured at a reception in Downing Street by Prime Minister Theresa May alongside members of the British Cave Rescue Council.