Elon Musk called a heroic British cave diver a “pedo guy” because the heart-sick billionaire was devastated over his split from actress Amber Heard, according to the Tesla mogul’s younger brother.
Kimbal Musk, the 50-year-old restaurateur and chef, told author Walter Isaacson that his brother was in the middle of the crisis in 2018 – when the tech titan went after Vernon Unsworth after rescuing a dozen boys trapped in a cave in Thailand.
The Tesla boss and the “Aquaman” star, who filed for divorce from actor Johnny Depp around the time she began dating Musk, ended their year-long romance in the summer of 2017.
“It was simply because he was in terrible grief for Amber,” Kimbal Musk told Isaacson in the recently published biography of author “Elon Musk.”
Kimbal Musk described Heard as “toxic,” adding that those close to his brother “hated” the actress “with a passion.”
A year after the split, 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach were trapped in a flooded cave in the Southeast Asian country. Elon Musk decided he had a solution.
He had his engineers build a mini-submarine to be used in the cave, but the device was not needed.
The Thai rescuers managed to free the football coach and his players under the supervision of Unsworth, who advised the authorities during the operation.
After the soccer team was rescued, Unsworth destroyed Musk’s mini-submarine, calling the mogul’s efforts “just a PR stunt” and saying the device he brought to Thailand “had absolutely no chance of working.” said Isaacson.
Unsworth then joked that Musk can “stick his sub where it hurts.”
An angry Musk then unleashed a tirade on the social media app known as Twitter, later renamed X.
“Sorry pedophile, you really asked for this,” Musk wrote.
Wall Street was spooked by Musk’s outburst as Tesla shares fell 3.5% in the wake of the “pedo guy” tweet.
Under pressure from investors, Musk apologized to Unsworth in a subsequent tweet, but then doubled down later in the summer.
After being contacted by BuzzFeed News, Musk emailed the media outlet in which he wrote: “I suggest you call people you know in Thailand, find out what is actually going on and stop “Defending child rapists, you fucking…” hole.”
Musk began his email with the words “off the record,” but BuzzFeed never agreed not to quote him.
After Musk’s comments were published on the news site, Unsworth filed a $190 million defamation lawsuit against Musk.
In federal court in Los Angeles, Musk testified that the “pedo guy” tweet was meant as a “flippant, spontaneous insult.” A jury found that Musk was not liable.
Isaacson wrote that Musk and Heard’s relationship and subsequent breakup were “most distressing” for the billionaire, who often pursued fleeting romances.
Musk admitted to Isaacson that the relationship with Heard was “brutal.”
“I am only a fool for love. I am often a fool, but mostly for love,” Musk told Isaacson.
Musk described the 18-month period that began with his split from Heard in 2017 and in which Tesla almost went under as “the most concentrated pain I’ve ever had.”
“Eighteen months of unrelenting madness,” Musk told Isaacson. “It was incredibly painful.”
Isaacson wrote that during this time, Musk was prone to “bad moods that led to catatonic trance states and depressive paralysis.”
After breaking up with Musk, Heard suffered her own difficulties.
Last April, she was ordered to pay more than $10 million in damages to Depp after a jury found that her allegations of domestic violence were damaging to her reputation in a 2018 editorial she wrote for The Washington Post had harmed the actor.
Heard could not immediately be reached for comment.