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Jaden Smith asked Elon Musk for advice on starting a company. Musk was shocked when Smith said he wanted to sell water.

Mark Matousek , Business Insider US
 Nov 02, 2019, 04:07 PM
Elon Musk.
Bill Pugliano/Getty Images
  • Jaden Smith asked Elon Musk for advice on starting a company, Musk said in a June 1 deposition. The transcript of the deposition was obtained by PlainSite, an organisation that advocates for transparency in the US judicial system.
  • When Smith told him he intended to sell water, Musk was incredulous.
  • Smith's company, Just Goods, which he cofounded with Drew FitzGerald, sells water bottles made mostly from paper and plant-based plastic.
  • The deposition was part of a 2016 lawsuit filed by Tesla shareholders alleging that the members of Tesla's board of directors, which included Musk at the time, acted in their own best interests, rather than in those of Tesla's investors, when they approved the $2.6 billion acquisition of the solar-panel company SolarCity in 2016.
  • Go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za for more stories.

Jaden Smith asked Elon Musk for advice on starting a company, Musk said in a June 1 deposition. The transcript of the deposition was obtained by PlainSite, an organisation that advocates for transparency in the US judicial system.

When Smith told him he intended to sell water, Musk was incredulous.

"It's like when Will Smith's son, Jaden, he came by before doing Just Water," Musk said during the deposition. "And he wanted to ask my advice on, like, starting his company. And then Jaden and Will said - I said, 'Okay. Well what is it?' And they literally said, just water. I'm like, are you serious?"

Musk described the meeting, which was not related to the lawsuit that prompted the deposition, after suggesting that the word "acquiescence" could be a name for a water brand.

Smith's company Just Goods, which he cofounded with Drew FitzGerald, sells water bottles made mostly from paper and plant-based plastic. The company says its materials and production processes create 74% fewer emissions that are harmful to the environment than a typical plastic water bottle.

Just Goods did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The deposition was part of a 2016 lawsuit filed by Tesla shareholders alleging that the members of Tesla's board of directors, which included Musk at the time, acted in their own best interests, rather than in those of Tesla's investors, when they approved the $2.6 billion acquisition of the solar-panel company SolarCity in 2016. Since the acquisition, Tesla's solar business has, for the most part, declined, while critics have argued that the deal was a bailout by Musk of his cousins Lyndon and Peter Rive, who founded SolarCity.

While Musk said he likely would not support the acquisition if he could go back in time because of the difficulty of the early stages of production for Tesla's Model 3 sedan, which took significant resources away from Tesla's energy division, he added that SolarCity was "far and away" the best solar company Tesla could have bought at the time.

Musk said this month that the decline in Tesla's solar sales was temporary and that he expected the company's energy business to eventually grow faster than its automotive business.

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