• Newsfeed
  • People

Elon Musk Renews Baseless Attacks on Thailand Cave Expert, Calling Him a ‘Child Rapist’

2 minute read

Tesla CEO Elon Musk renewed his baseless attacks on a British spelunker who helped rescue a youth soccer team trapped in a cave in northern Thailand, this time calling him a “child rapist.”

Buzzfeed News reports that Musk, who had previously called Vernon Unsworth “a pedo” on Twitter without any evidence, doubled down on his remarks in a series of emails to a reporter.

Musk’s attacks began after Unsworth, who was instrumental in the rescue of the Wild Boars soccer team that spent nine days inside the Tham Luang cave complex after floodwaters blocked their exit, questioned the utility of the billionaire tech mogul’s unsolicited contribution to the effort.

Musk had volunteered to design a mini-submarine to extract the team, but it ultimately was not used. Thai officials had also acknowledged that the device was “not practical.”

Musk later apologized after Unsworth said he was considering legal action. The stock value of Tesla, Musk’s electric automaker, dove amid the public spat and the embattled CEO admitted in a recent interview with the New York Times that he had endured an “excruciating” year.

But in expletive-laden emails to Buzzfeed News last week, Musk resumed his attack, claiming that Unsworth was a “child rapist” who had moved to Chiang Rai “for a child bride who was about 12 years old at the time.”

“I suggest that you call people you know in Thailand, find out what’s actually going on,” Musk wrote, according to Buzzfeed. Musk did not provide details to substantiate the allegations.

Last week, Musk also tweeted that it was “strange” Unsworth hadn’t sued him yet, though Unsworth’s legal counsel informed the tech entrepreneur that they were “preparing a civil complaint,” Buzzfeed News reports.

In a statement to the Guardian Tuesday, Unsworth’s lawyer said Musk’s “false accusations” were “inexcusable.”

Musk hopes to be sued and he deserves to be sued. He will be,” the lawyer wrote.

More Must-Reads From TIME

Write to Eli Meixler at eli.meixler@time.com