- Getty Pictures
- Elon Musk could be the world’s most extraordinarily on-line billionaire
- The Tesla CEO, value an estimated $26 billion, has a behavior of entering into fights and long-running feuds over the web.
- Musk is an enthusiastic Twitter person and infrequently jokes round together with his followers – however typically takes it too far.
- Listed below are his weirdest fights.
- Go to Enterprise Insider’s homepage for extra tales.
Elon Musk has a combative streak.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO is famously unpredictable as chief executives go, a persona trait which has typically landed him in hassle – notably with the US Securities and Alternate Fee.
However Musk’s combative facet doesn’t simply categorical itself in skirmishes with authorities companies. The Tesla billionaire has ended up in weird spats with an odd array of individuals – from fellow billionaires to artists to rescue divers – and infrequently by way of his most popular medium of Twitter.
The twists and turns within the tales of Musk’s numerous battles are no much less baffling, and it may be laborious to recollect all of the other ways Musk has squared as much as numerous public figures and common residents.
We’ve catalogued his weirdest fights.
1. When he known as a whole stranger “pedo man”
- REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
Vernon Unsworth is the British diver who participated within the rescue of 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave system in June 2018. It was a troublesome, advanced operation and the boys have been efficiently rescued after being trapped for 17 days by worldwide divers and Thai Navy SEALs. Unsworth, an skilled cave explorer, was requested by Thai officers to assist in the rescue.
He had by no means met Elon Musk, however would go on to spend most of 2019 locked in a authorized battle with the Tesla billionaire.
Musk had inserted himself into the Thai rescue operation and provided to construct a mini-submarine to fetch the boys. The thought by no means materialized.
Unsworth was requested about Musk’s submarine in an interview with CNN, and described it in unflattering phrases, describing it as a PR stunt. He added that Musk might “stick his submarine the place it hurts.”
That angered Musk, who subsequently wrote a submit on Twitter calling Unsworth a “pedo man.” When a Twitter person challenged him over it, he replied “wager ya a signed greenback it’s true.”
His remarks instantly triggered headlines world wide, regardless of the actual fact he offered no proof for the “pedo” declare.
Musk doubled down on the allegation by emailing BuzzFeed reporter Ryan Mac and calling Vernon Unsworth a “baby rapist”, with no proof
- Brendan McDermid/Reuters
Censured by critics for utilizing the slur, Musk deleted his tweet and apologised, however he didn’t depart it there. A month later he responded to a Twitter person who criticised him. “You don’t suppose it’s unusual he hasn’t sued me? He was provided free authorized companies,” Musk tweeted, referring to Unsworth.
Then in September 2018, he doubled down. BuzzFeed reporter Ryan Mac emailed Musk asking for touch upon a authorized risk made by Unsworth’s lawyer. Musk replied, suggesting Unsworth was a “baby rapist” and “I hope he fucking sues me.”
Musk prefaced the e-mail to Mac with “off the file,” however the journalist had by no means agreed to go off the file, and printed the whole change. Paperwork later revealed Musk known as himself a “fucking fool” for sending the e-mail to Mac within the first place.
A couple of weeks after Mac’s article was printed Unsworth sued Musk for defamation.
Musk is now embroiled in a long-running court docket battle with Unsworth for his defamatory remarks. Court docket filings revealed Musk employed a detective to analyze Unsworth — however the PI turned out to be a conman
- Joshua Lott/Getty Pictures
Musk and Unsworth have now been locked in a authorized struggle for over a 12 months.
The case has thrown up some weird findings.
Court docket filings revealed that Musk paid a person named James Higgins-Howard $50,000 to analyze Unsworth and relay reviews to Musk’s household workplace.
Higgins-Howard emailed Musk out of the blue following the preliminary “pedo man” tweet to supply his companies as a non-public detective. “Chances are you’ll need to dig deep into Mr. Unsworth[‘s] previous to organize for his defamation declare,” Higgins-Howard wrote, including “no smoke with out fireplace!”
Higgins-Howard didn’t discover any proof, nevertheless, and BuzzFeed’s Ryan Mac later reported that the would-be PI had beforehand been convicted of fraud. Musk admitted in a deposition that he later realised Higgins-Howard was “simply taking us for a journey.”
In depositions Musk has additionally argued that by calling Unsworth “pedo man” he wasn’t actually accusing him of being a pedophile as a result of the time period was was synonymous with “creepy previous man” when he was rising up in South Africa. He additionally claimed he was genuinely frightened Unsworth might be “one other Jeffrey Epstein.”
The defamation case remains to be ongoing, and the trial is because of happen in December.
2. When he took a liking to farting unicorn artwork, however didn’t pay for it
- Tom Edwards, Wallyware
June 2018 noticed Musk lock horns with one other unlikely member of the public.
Colorado-based potter Tom Edwards caught Musk’s consideration with a mug. The mug carried a portray of a unicorn farting rainbows to energy an electrical automotive. Musk tweeted an image of a mug in February 2017 calling it “possibly my favourite mug ever.”
Two months later associates of Edwards’ advised him they’d seen the identical farting unicorn picture used as an icon on Tesla screens, and the picture was later used on Tesla’s firm Christmas playing cards.
The Christmas card spurred Edwards into motion. “I made a decision to make it my New 12 months’s decision to pursue getting compensation, as a result of artists are all the time seeing their work simply taken, and it occurs on a regular basis,” he advised Enterprise Insider in June 2018.
In later-deleted tweets Musk attacked Edwards, saying taking authorized motion can be “kinda lame.”
“If something, this consideration elevated his mug gross sales,” he stated. Musk additionally claimed (additionally in subsequently-deleted tweets) to have provided to pay for the work twice. Edwards stated he’d had no contact from Musk or Tesla at that time.
Regardless of Musk’s protestations, the 2 ultimately settled
- Brendan McDermid/Reuters
A month after the farting unicorn argument erupted on Twitter, Musk and Edwards got here to a settlement. The phrases of the settlement weren’t made public, however Edwards posted on his weblog that it “resolves our points in a means that everybody feels good about.”
“It’s clear there have been some misunderstandings that led to this escalating, however I’m simply glad that all the pieces has been cleared up,” he added.
Musk for his half tweeted a hyperlink to the weblog accompanied by three emojis: a unicorn, a gust of wind, and a peace image.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 21, 2018
three. When Azealia Banks waded into Tesla’s regulatory troubles
On August 7, 2018 Elon Musk despatched his notorious “funding secured” tweet, by which he claimed to be taking Tesla non-public at $420 a share.
Tesla didn’t go non-public, and Musk landed himself with a $20 million nice from the Securities and Alternate Fee (SEC) for the tweet. He misplaced his place as chairman of Tesla’s board, resulting in long-running unhealthy blood with the company.
And it triggered one other unlikely feud, with rapper Azealia Banks.
Per week after Musk despatched his fateful Tweet, Banks wrote on her Instagram that she had been at Musk’s home on the time when he’d despatched it. She had visited to collaborate with Musk’s companion Grimes (actual identify Claire Boucher), and claimed she had been aggravated when the disaster brought on by “funding secured” dominated Grimes’ time.
“I waited round all weekend whereas grimes coddled her boyfriend,” Banks wrote, and in contrast the weekend to the horror movie “Get Out.”
“I noticed him within the kitchen tucking his tail in between his legs scrounging for buyers to cowl his ass after that tweet,” Banks advised Enterprise Insider on the time.
Banks accused Musk of taking her cellphone
- Getty Pictures
On August 20 Banks was again on Instagram, tagging Elon Musk.
Banks posted “@elonmusk it’s worthwhile to contact me. ASAP.” and “I want my cellphone again now. @elonmusk,” on her Instagram story – she later deleted the posts.
Banks then shared a screenshot with Enterprise Insider that appeared to indicate a textual content from Grimes saying the selection of share value ($420) was a weed reference. “He simply obtained into weed cuz of me and he’s tremendous entertained by 420 so when he determined to take the inventory non-public he calculated it was value 419$ so he rounded as much as 420 for amusing and now the sec is investigating him for fraud,” the textual content learn.
Musk advised the New York Occasions that he rounded up the value as a result of $420 had higher “karma” than $419, and denied utilizing weed.
Musk, often combative, didn’t actually reply publicly to Banks besides to say he had by no means met her
- Reuters / Rebecca Cook dinner
Musk advised Gizmodo that he hadn’t met Banks “or communicated with her in any means,” however confirmed to the New York Occasions that he had seen her at his home.
“I noticed her on Friday morning, for 2 seconds at a couple of 30-foot distance as she was leaving the home… I’d simply completed understanding. She was not inside listening to vary. I didn’t even notice who it was. That’s actually the one time I’ve ever laid eyes on her,” he advised the Occasions.
The Banks-Musk feud dragged on for months after the story blew up
- Isaiah Trickey/FilmMagic
Banks lashed out at Musk in January of this 12 months after Musk’s legal professional stated Banks had a “historical past of creating daring and typically unverified claims.”
“They’re nonetheless slighting me like I don’t have loads extra dust to spill on Elon,” she wrote on Instagram – later deleting the submit. “That is going to get extraordinarily ugly… Elon will study very quickly who’s extra highly effective of us two.”
In January, a court docket granted a movement to subpoena Banks, Grimes, and publications together with Enterprise Insider.
four. When he was accused of stealing an thought from Pablo Escobar’s brother
Musk ended up in a spat with Roberto Escobar, brother of deceased Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, over an accusation of mental property theft.
TMZ first reported that Escobar had accused Musk of stealing his thought for a flamethrower when Musk’s enterprise The Boring Firm introduced its “Not-A-Flamethrower” flamethrower in January 2018, beating Escobar’s personal flamethrower to market.
Escobar claimed to TMZ that certainly one of Musk’s engineers had stolen the concept whereas visiting an Escobar household compound in 2017.
“It’s not a flamethrower, Mr. Escobar.”
- iJustine/YouTube/Joe Rogan Expertise
Elon Musk responded to the story in traditional Muskian model – on Twitter.
Musk tweeted a hyperlink to the TMZ story accompanied by the phrases, “It’s not a Flamethrower, Mr. Escobar,” a tongue-in-cheek reference to the gadget’s identify.
It’s Not a Flamethrower, Mr Escobar https://t.co/TXH02nixIc
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 11, 2019
In a follow-up tweet he added he stole the concept from the comedy film “Spaceballs.”
6. When he traded jibes with Jeff Bezos about which components of area to overcome
- Blue Origin
Jeff Bezos owns an area exploration firm known as Blue Origin, a rival to Musk’s personal area exploration firm SpaceX.
Bezos and Musk have sporadically interacted about their firms’ successes, typically applauding one another, however extra usually locking antlers.
When Blue Origin unveiled its new lunar lander Blue Moon in Might 2019 Bezos reportedly took a swipe at SpaceX’s plans to colonize Mars throughout his presentation, saying that the moon was a a lot extra life like prospect. In keeping with Bloomberg, Bezos confirmed a slide with an image of Mars accompanied by the labels “Spherical-trip on the order of years” and “No real-time communication.”
Musk responded by mocking the lander’s identify.
“Competitors is sweet. Leads to a greater end result for all… However placing the phrase “Blue” on a ball is questionable branding,” Musk stated in a pair of tweets.
Musk additionally known as Bezos a “copycat” over his plan to launch hundreds of satellites
- Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters
In April 2019 Amazon introduced its plan to launch three,236 satellites with the purpose of offering broadband to communities with out high-speed web, nicknamed Venture Kuiper.
The undertaking bears some resemblance to a SpaceX undertaking known as Starlink, which gained FCC approval in November 2018 to launch nearly 12,000 satellites into orbit. CNBC additionally reported that Amazon employed a former SpaceX govt to go up Kuiper.
After information of Venture Kuiper broke, Musk tagged Bezos and tweeted the phrase “copy” adopted by a cat emoji.
.@JeffBezos copy ????
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 9, 2019
Bezos didn’t reply.
7. David Einhorn, the billionaire brief vendor Musk loves sending brief shorts to
- REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Musk has a fairly well-documented hatred for brief sellers, once tweeting “what they do ought to be unlawful.”
One brief vendor particularly has drawn Musk’s ire. David Einhorn is president of Greenlight Capital, and is usually fairly scathing in his notes about Tesla and Musk.
When Einhorn blamed Tesla’s good efficiency within the first half of 2018 for denting Greenlight’s hedge fund, Elon Musk promised to ship him a field of “brief shorts” – and he adopted by.
— David Einhorn (@davidein) August 10, 2018
In November 2019 Musk renewed the provide of brief shorts after Einhorn printed a damning observe on Tesla’s Q3 outcomes, drawing consideration to a shareholder’s lawsuit in opposition to Tesla which alleges that Musk acquired his cousin’s firm SolarCity at an inflated worth to bail it out.
Musk posted an extremely sarcastic observe on Twitter following Einhorn’s letter, addressing him as “Mr. Unicorn.” Einhorn is German for unicorn.