Musk denies sexually harassing a flight attendant

Billionaire Elon Musk took to Twitter last night to denounce as “totally false” claims in a news report that he had sexually harassed a flight attendant on a private plane in 2016.

Business Insider reported Thursday that Musk’s SpaceX paid $250,000 in 2018 to settle a sexual harassment claim from an anonymous private flight attendant who accused Musk of exposing himself to her.

The article quoted an anonymous person claiming to be a friend of the flight attendant. The friend had provided a statement as part of the private settlement process, according to the article.

“I have a challenge for this liar who claims that her friend saw me ‘exposed’: describe only one thing, anything (scars, tattoos,…) that is not known to the public. She will not be able to do so, because she will never happened,” Musk tweeted.

Reuters was unable to verify Business Insider’s account.

Musk and SpaceX did not respond to Reuters requests for comment on the Business Insider story or Musk’s tweets.

In addition to allegedly exposing himself, Musk rubbed the flight attendant’s thigh and offered to buy her a horse if she “does more” during an in-flight massage, Business Insider quoted the flight attendant’s friend as saying.

The flight attendant came to believe that her refusal to accept Musk’s proposal had hurt her chances of working at SpaceX and led her to hire a lawyer in 2018, according to Business Insider.

The rocket company settled out of court and included a confidentiality agreement that prevented the flight attendant from speaking about it, Business Insider said.

The news site did not name the friend or the flight attendant.

Musk, who is also CEO of Tesla and is in the midst of a controversial effort to buy Twitter, said on Wednesday he would vote Republican rather than Democrat, predicting a “dirty tricks campaign against me” would follow.

In the Business Insider article, Musk was quoted as saying that the flight attendant story was a “politically motivated blockbuster” and that there was “so much more to this story.”

Last night, Musk tweeted for the first time: “The attacks against me must be seen through a political lens, this is your standard (despicable) playbook, but nothing will deter me from fighting for a good future and your right to the expression freedoom”.

In the initial tweet, he did not specifically mention the allegations in the Business Insider article.

“And for the record, those wild accusations are completely false,” Musk added in another tweet.

He also tweeted that the article was meant to interfere with the Twitter takeover.

Reuters could not immediately reach Business Insider for comment.

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