Tesla slides after an eventful weekend for Elon Musk (TSLA)

Tesla slides after an eventful weekend for Elon Musk (TSLA)

After Unsworth said Musk was performing a "PR stunt", the billionaire called the rescuer a "pedo guy", perhaps implying that he is a pedophile. The unsubstantiated claim came after the expert caver criticized the miniature submarine Musk created to help with the Thai cave rescue.

Musk posted the baseless accusation shortly after. Meanwhile, Musk's team had abandoned the submarine.

Elon Musk is taking heat for controversial comments he made against a diver who assisted in the Thai cave rescue.

"He had no conception of what the cave passage was like", Unsworth said in the interview.

Musk said he would start a website to "track the credibility score of each journalist, editor & publication".

Asked whether he planned to sue Mr. Musk for the unfounded claim, Mr. Unsworth said, "Yes, yes, it's not finished", CNN reported. "I am not gonna make any further comment about him but I think people realize what sort of a guy he is". "I will attempt to be better at this", Musk said.

The backlash against Mr. Musk was swift, but he doubled down in another now-deleted tweet that read, "bet ya a signed dollar it's true".

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Vernon Unsworth, who provided expert mapping knowledge of the cave to an global team of divers, told AFP he will weigh his options when he gets back home in the United Kingdom and has a chance to examine the tweets.

Musk's now-deleted post on Twitter adds to a long list of news-making tweets by the Tesla Inc. chairman, who unlike most executives doesn't hesitate to battle publicly with his detractors.

A lawyer who spoke to The Guardian called it "a cast-iron case of libel".

Unsworth said rescue officials quickly asked Musk to leave the cave site during the rescue mission, a claim Musk also refuted, claiming that, "Thai navy seals escorted us in - total opposite of wanting us to leave". "I don't know the guy, never met the guy, and don't want to meet the guy", he said.

Representatives for Musk and his companies - SpaceX, Boring Co. and Tesla - did not respond to requests for comment Sunday.

Rattled investors sent Tesla shares tumbling 3 percent on Monday, extending a losing streak for a company that was only weeks ago America's most valuable automaker, worth more than General Motors.

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