Tesla CEO Elon Musk will go on trial in Los Angeles on Oct. 22 to defend himself against a lawsuit filed by a British cave diver Musk claimed was a pedo or pedophile, but without providing any proof.
A federal court judge on May 10 rejected Musk's filing to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed by British cave diver Vernon Unsworth. Musk contended his insult was protected from legal action as the law doesn't apply to opinions.
Unsworth is suing Musk for $75,000 for calling him a pedophile and a child rapist during the dramatic Thai cave rescue operation from June to July 2018. Unsworth sued the Tesla CEO for defamation in a Los Angeles court in September 2018.
In addition, the lawsuit says a separate suit, which will likely demand millions of dollars in damages, will be filed in the High Court in London at an undisclosed date.
An Englishman from St. Albans who now lives in Thailand, Unsworth also wants the Los Angeles court to issue an order against Musk to stop him from making more allegations. Unsworth played a key role in convincing experienced divers from around the world to come to Thailand and rescue 12 schoolboys and their coach trapped inside the labyrinthine and flooded Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai Province.
The boys and their coach were all rescued alive on July 10 after spending 18 days trapped inside the half-submerged cave.
Musk tweeted Unsworth was a "pedo" (pedophile) in a heated exchange after Musk offered to send a mini-submarine developed by one of his engineers to help in the rescue attempt. Unsworth dismissed Musk's offer, saying the sub was useless in the small crevices and shallow waters of the cave complex. He called Musk's offer a "PR stunt."
Unsworth also said the sub had absolutely no chance of working even if it had arrived on time. He said the metal sub was too long and too rigid to go around corners. The diver also said Musk could "stick his submarine where it hurts."
That remark angered Musk. "Sorry pedo guy. You really did ask for it," tweeted Musk.
Musk later doubled down on his allegations against Unworth. In an email to Buzzfeed News, he labeled the British diver a "child rapist" in response to Unsworth's threat to sue him.
Musk said the website reporters should "call people you know in Thailand, find out what's actually going on and stop defending child rapists, you f--king a--hole."
This article originally appeared in IBTimes US.