The world’s richest man, founder and owner of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, has been accused of paying a SpaceX flight attendant $250,000 in a harassment case. Musk denies these claims, citing political intent.
The incident happened in 2016 when a flight attendant said Elon invited her to his private cabin on board a flight and exposed himself. He then allegedly offered to buy a horse from the attendant in exchange for an “erotic massage”.
Business Insider first reported the story, in which the publication claimed to have obtained documents and interviews. The incident occurred on board a Gulfstream G650ER.
A friend of the flight attendant signed a statement claiming to have seen email correspondence regarding the $250,000 settlement made by Mr Musk.
According to the friend, Mr Musk asked the attendant to come up to his room and asked for a full body massage. The anonymous flight attendant was offered a horse after explaining to Elon Musk that she had an interest in horses and was an equestrian.
The stewardess gave Mr Musk a massage but declined the offer of a horse. When the stewardess entered, she claimed Mr Musk was completely exposed, covering himself with a sheet.
In 2018, the flight attendant went to a California labor attorney, and they sent a complaint to SpaceX’s human resources department.
Shortly after the complaint, a meeting took place between the attendant, Mr. Musk and a mediator. The claim never reached a court and the case was resolved when the two parties met. The flight attendant was offered a severance deal that included the $250,000 in exchange for Mr Musk not being prosecuted.
Mr. Musk is the owner of SpaceX, a space research company. Photo: NASA
In addition, also included was a statement that the flight attendant could never discuss or divulge information about the departure agreement.
In an interview with Business Internthe friend felt inclined to come forward saying:
“I felt absolutely responsible for doing it, especially now. He’s the richest man in the world. Someone with that level of power causing that kind of harm and then throwing money at the situation, that is not responsibility.”
Mr. Musk’s response
Unsurprisingly, Elon Musk and his team deny the claim that he paid the flight attendant. Business Insider emailed Mr. Musk for comment, and he responded by saying he needed more time.
“If I was inclined to engage in sexual harassment, it’s unlikely this will be the first time in my entire 30-year career that it’s been revealed,” he added.
Elon Musk claims the story is politically motivated. Before the story broke, Mr Musk tweeted that he no longer supported the US political party, the Democrats, and showed his support for the Republicans.
On Twitter, Mr Musk denied the allegations.
Business Insider called SpaceX’s vice president of legal, Christopher Cardaci. Mr Cardaci said: “I will not comment on the settlement agreements.” SpaceX did not respond to requests for comment by email or other means.
Elon Musk denied the allegations via Twitter. Photo: Getty Images.
Mr Musk recently made headlines for his bid to acquire US social media platform Twitter. Twitter declined to comment to Business Insider.
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