The Tesla chief executive has launched a third attack on cave diver Vernon Unsworth, who called Musk’s idea to rescue the trapped boys and their coach with a miniature submarine a “PR stunt.”
Representatives for Musk, Tesla, SpaceX and The Boring Company were not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC via email.
The initial tweet from Musk in July dampened investor sentiment on Tesla, with shares falling on the day on concerns over the executive’s leadership, public image and his presence on Twitter.
Musk told BuzzFeed on Tuesday: “I suggest that you call people you know in Thailand, find out what’s actually going on and stop defending child rapists, you f—— a——.”
Musk alleged that Unsworth had traveled to and lived in Thailand for “30 to 40 years” and claimed — without providing evidence — that he eventually moved to Chiang Rai to find a child bride. Unsworth denied those claims, according to the news site.
Chiang Rai is the province in which the Wild Boar youth soccer team became trapped in the flooded cave. The boys and their coach were subsequently saved after weeks of efforts by both local and international rescuers.
“As for this alleged threat of a lawsuit, which magically appeared when I raised the issue (nothing was sent or raised beforehand), I f—— hope he sues me,” Musk told BuzzFeed.
According to a screen capture of the correspondence, the Tesla chief had written the comments “off the record,” a common journalistic practice that means comments made are not official or attributable.