The world's wealthiest human seems to be in a bit of hot water. Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is defending himself against sexual misconduct allegations.
Musk has been busy and in the news a lot lately as he works to buy Twitter. He definitely knows how to stay in the headlines. Here are more details on yet another Musk scandal.
Elon Musk was accused of sexual misconduct by a SpaceX flight attendant.
According to a May 19 Business Insider article, Musk's company SpaceX paid a $250,000 settlement to a flight attendant who accused Musk of sexual misconduct in 2018. The unnamed SpaceX flight attendant claimed Musk exposed himself to her, rubbed her leg without consent, and offered to buy her a horse in exchange for an erotic massage, Insider reports.
Details on the incident, which occurred in 2016, were obtained by Insider in a declaration signed by a friend of the flight attendant who supported her claim. Insider reports that the alleged victim told her friend about the misconduct shortly after it occurred.
The alleged victim was hired as a flight attendant at SpaceX but was encouraged to get licensed as a masseuse so she could get more work on flights, Insider reports.
"They implied that she would get to fly more often if she were to do this because she'd be able to give Elon proper massages," the friend told Insider.
The alleged sexual misconduct reportedly happened during a massage the flight attendant gave Musk in a private cabin on his Gulfstream G650ER. After the flight attendant declined Musk's advances, she started to feel retaliation when her shifts were cut back, the friend told Insider. The attendant felt "she was being pushed out and punished for refusing to prostitute herself," Insider reports the friend's declaration states.
The flight attendant hired an attorney in 2018 and sent a formal complaint to SpaceX's human resources department, Insider reports. The company agreed to pay the flight attendant a $250,000 settlement in exchange for her guarantee that she wouldn't sue and that she sign a non-disclosure agreement restricting her from discussing the payment or incident, Insider reports.
Elon Musk denies the sexual misconduct allegations.
When Insider reached out to Musk for his comment, he said there's "a lot more to this story" and called the article a "politically motivated hit piece."
"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 in an email to Insider.
Musk told his over 94 million Twitter followers that the "wild accusations are utterly untrue."
"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," Musk tweeted on May 19.
In another tweet, Musk claimed the friend interviewed for the Insider story was a "far-left activist/actress in LA with a major political axe to grind."
"But I have to challenge this liar who claims their friend saw me 'exposed' — describe just one thing, anything at all (scars, tattoos, …) that isn't known by the public. She won't be able to do so, because it never happened," Musk tweeted on May 20.