WEATHER AUTHORITY : Dense Fog Advisory View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Lawyer: We're 'finalizing' a libel lawsuit against Elon Musk over 'pedo' tweet

Elon Musk could be hit with a lawsuit over his baseless claim that one of the British cave rescuers in Thail...

Posted: Aug 30, 2018 5:50 AM
Updated: Aug 30, 2018 5:50 AM

Elon Musk could be hit with a lawsuit over his baseless claim that one of the British cave rescuers in Thailand is a pedophile.

Atlanta-based attorney L. Lin Wood, a prominent defamation lawyer, told CNN Wednesday that he is in the process of "finalizing the libel complaint" and expects to file it "in the next several days" in a Los Angeles federal court.

Wood is representing Vernon Unsworth, an experienced spelunker who helped save 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Thailand last month and who was the target of the unfounded claim by Musk that he's a "pedo."

Musk kicked up controversy again Tuesday when he wrote on Twitter that he thought it was "strange" he had not yet been sued by Unsworth. He also badgered a Twitter user about why his claim about Unsworth had not been investigated.

Unsworth became the source of Musk's ire last month after he criticized the billionaire CEO's attempts to help with the Thai cave rescue effort by building a miniature submarine. Unsworth called Musk's effort a "PR stunt" that had "absolutely no chance of working."

Musk soon shot back against Unsworth on Twitter, making the unfounded claim that he was a "pedo" or pedophile. Musk then doubled down on the claim in other tweets before deleting them. There is no indication that Musk's allegation is true, and he provided no justification or proof to back up his claim.

In his apology to Unsworth, Musk called him out for "several untruths" and suggesting Musk stick "his submarine where it hurts."

"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" Musk said in a tweet on July 18.

Unsworth said last month that he was considering legal action.

Wood, Unsworth's attorney, said Wednesday that he sent Musk a note on August 6 alerting the billionaire that a lawsuit was in the works. CNN has obtained and reviewed a copy of the letter.

"I am in the process of preparing a civil complaint for libel against you," the note reads. "In an attempt to avoid litigation and to see the public record is corrected, I invite you or your legal representatives to contact me."

It's unclear if Musk read or reviewed the notice. A Tesla representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNN.

A source close to Musk denied the CEO received a note from the attorney. "We never received any letter" from Wood, the source said.

In his tweets published on Tuesday, Musk appeared to suggest it was suspicious that he had not yet been sued and again called for his claim to be investigated.

He also said in one tweet that Unsworth "was offered free legal services." It's unclear what the Tesla and SpaceX CEO meant by that.

Wood, Unsworth's attorney, said via email that his firm is "representing Mr. Unsworth pursuant to a written engagement agreement and are not providing services pro bono."

Musk is already facing at least five lawsuits and a Securities and Exchange Commission probe over his tweets about potentially taking his electric car company Tesla off the stock market. Musk said in a tweet last week that he was no longer pursuing a plan to privatize Tesla.

—CNN's Clare Sebastian contributed to this report.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 145636

Reported Deaths: 3745
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto973199
Hinds9668197
Harrison6898109
Jackson6178119
Rankin5319100
Lee487695
Madison4666106
Forrest371386
Jones346788
Lauderdale3355144
Lafayette317549
Washington3122107
Lamar283449
Oktibbeha240861
Bolivar240184
Lowndes229763
Neshoba2177115
Panola215849
Marshall209650
Leflore201490
Pontotoc196128
Monroe191477
Sunflower190555
Lincoln186865
Warren172657
Tate165451
Union163925
Pike160658
Copiah159540
Yazoo152039
Scott150729
Coahoma148743
Itawamba148234
Pearl River146567
Alcorn146327
Simpson145153
Prentiss141230
Adams137949
Grenada137745
Leake131943
Holmes126561
Tippah123030
George122324
Covington119737
Winston119124
Wayne116223
Hancock115939
Marion111646
Attala109833
Tishomingo106542
Chickasaw104132
Newton103629
Tallahatchie96327
Clarke88853
Clay87127
Jasper81222
Walthall75328
Stone73114
Calhoun72913
Montgomery72125
Carroll70614
Lawrence70314
Yalobusha70027
Noxubee69717
Smith69616
Perry65426
Tunica59619
Greene58422
Claiborne57616
Jefferson Davis55017
Humphreys52918
Amite51814
Benton48717
Quitman4816
Webster42114
Kemper41918
Wilkinson38722
Jefferson34211
Franklin3265
Choctaw3117
Sharkey30717
Issaquena1124
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 239318

Reported Deaths: 3532
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31391491
Mobile19562361
Tuscaloosa12813154
Madison12741146
Montgomery12198235
Shelby1000577
Baldwin847398
Lee764466
Morgan634348
Calhoun6112115
Marshall607954
Etowah606565
Houston517038
DeKalb474736
Cullman428038
Limestone413744
St. Clair409055
Elmore400762
Lauderdale393653
Walker3588108
Talladega343453
Jackson307624
Colbert301941
Blount285539
Autauga268641
Franklin247833
Coffee239715
Dale230354
Dallas224531
Russell22053
Chilton219638
Covington216833
Escambia197431
Chambers173749
Tallapoosa173391
Pike157514
Clarke156319
Marion136535
Winston129923
Lawrence124836
Geneva12028
Pickens119418
Marengo119124
Barbour117010
Bibb116217
Butler114441
Randolph100921
Cherokee100824
Hale94531
Clay90223
Washington90219
Fayette87316
Henry8496
Lowndes79129
Monroe78111
Cleburne75714
Macon72321
Crenshaw70730
Bullock69119
Conecuh68314
Perry6756
Lamar6508
Wilcox63118
Sumter57122
Choctaw41913
Greene41418
Coosa3374
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 45°
Columbus
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 47°
Oxford
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 45°
Starkville
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 45°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather