Executive Insights

Elon Musk is recruiting 'hardcore streetfighters' for a new Tesla 'litigation department'

Business Insider US

Elon Musk is the founder and chief executive of Tesla.
Yasin Ozturk/Getty Images
  • Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla seeks individuals to create a "hardcore litigation department."
  • An Insider investigation found a flight attendant accused Musk of sexual misconduct. 
  • The tech mogul said he wants "hardcore streetfighters" and not those who "thrive on corruption".
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Elon Musk is seeking individuals to set up a "hardcore litigation department" that will report directly to him.

He tweeted that Tesla is building a team that would "seek victory in a just case against us, even if we will probably win." He also added that on the contrary, they would "never surrender/settle an unjust case against us, even if we will probably lose." An Insider investigation published on Thursday found that a SpaceX flight attendant was paid for her silence as she accused the tech mogul of exposing his erect penis, touching her leg, and offering to give her a horse in exchange for a sexual favour in late 2016. Documents and interviews procured by Insider indicate she declined the offer.

Musk told Insider there was "a lot more to this story" and, after the article's publication, called the accusations "utterly untrue." He also called the story a "politically motivated hit piece."

Musk is looking for "hardcore streetfighters," as he said there will be "blood." The tech mogul also said he was not looking for lawyers who "thrive on corruption." 

At the time when the sexual misconduct reportedly occurred, Musk announced that Tesla wanted to develop solar roofs. A month later, Tesla completed its takeover of SolarCity, a company founded by Musk's cousins.

That deal later resulted in a $2 billion (R31.5 billion) lawsuit from Tesla shareholders, which Musk won in April this year.

He was also dating Amber Heard and finalizing a divorce around the time he is said to have harassed the SpaceX flight attendant. Heard is participating in a high-profile defamation trial against her former husband, Johnny Depp.

According to Insider's investigation, SpaceX paid the flight attendant a $250,000 (R3.9 million) severance agreement in 2018 in exchange for a promise not to sue over the claims or discuss the payment, Musk, or his businesses.

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