Elon Musk responded to an allegation that he exposed himself to a flight attendant working on his private jet in 2016.
“The attacks against me should be viewed through a political lens – this is their standard (despicable) playbook – but nothing will deter me from fighting for a good future and your right to free speech,” the Tesla founder, 50, tweeted on Thursday, May 19.
The social media post came hours after Insider published a story claiming that Musk’s company SpaceX paid the flight attendant $250,000 in 2018 to settle the misconduct claim. The woman alleged that Musk exposed himself to her in a private cabin on his jet at the time.
According to a declaration signed by a friend of the woman, the Neuralink founder allegedly touched the attendant without her consent during a flight to London and offered to buy her a horse in exchange for an erotic massage. She declined and continued to give Musk a massage without any sexual contact.
The South Africa native responded to the accusations in an email to the outlet, claiming that there was “a lot more” to the story. “If I were inclined to engage in sexual harassment, this is unlikely to be the first time in my entire 30-year career that it comes to light,” he wrote, adding that he believed the article was a “politically motivated hit piece.”
The entrepreneur is in the process of possibly buying Twitter for $44 billion. He first floated the idea in April after rejecting a seat on the company’s board, but on Tuesday, May 17, he tweeted that the “deal cannot move forward” in its current state.
Commentators and politicians have criticized Musk’s potential ownership of the social media company, with some worrying that he would roll back community standards designed to protect the site’s users from abuse. The billionaire, for his part, has said that he wants to enhance Twitter with “new features” and eliminating automated spam bots.
Earlier this week, Musk also made headlines for slamming the Democratic Party in a series of tweets about why he wants to change his allegiance to the Republican Party.
“In the past I voted Democrat, because they were (mostly) the kindness party,” he tweeted on Wednesday, May 18. “But they have become the party of division & hate, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican. Now, watch their dirty tricks campaign against me unfold.”
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