Musk denies sexually harassing a flight attendant on a private plane

Elon Musk speaks at the World Auto News Conference at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan, January 13, 2015. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook // File Photo

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AUCKLAND (Reuters) – Billionaire Elon Musk took to Twitter late on Thursday to denounce the “completely untrue” allegations in a news report that he sexually harassed a flight attendant on a private jet in 2016.

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

The article quoted an anonymous person who said that she was a friend of the hostess. The friend had made the statement as part of the private settlement process, according to the article.

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“I have a challenge for this savage who claims that his friend saw me ‘exposed’ – describe only one thing, absolutely anything (scars, tattoos,…) that the audience doesn’t know about. She wouldn’t be able to do that to that, because it never happened”, Mask tweeted.

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

Business Insider quotes a friend of the flight attendant as saying that, in addition to exposing himself to an alleged expose, he rubbed the flight attendant’s thigh and offered to buy her a horse if she would do more during the on-board massage.

The host came to believe that her refusal to accept Musk’s proposal hurt her chances to work at SpaceX and prompted her to hire a lawyer in 2018, according to Business Insider.

Business Insider said the missile company settled out of court and included a nondisclosure agreement that prevented the host from speaking about it. The news site did not name the friend or hostess.

Musk, who is also the CEO of Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) and is in the midst of a controversial effort to buy Twitter Inc (TWTR.N), said Wednesday that he would vote for Republicans instead of Democrats, predicting the scams campaign against me.”

In a Business Insider article, Musk was quoted as saying that the hostess’ story was a “politically motivated success story” and that there was “a lot to this story.”

On Thursday evening, Musk tweeted for the first time: “Attacks against me should be viewed through a political lens – that’s their (despicable) standard evidence – but nothing will stop me from fighting for a good future and your right to free speech.” In an initial tweet, he did not specifically mention the allegations in the Business Insider article.

And as a reminder, these wild accusations are totally untrue,” Musk added in another tweet.

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

Reuters was not immediately able to reach Business Insider for comment.

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Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin and Joey Roulette; Editing by Peter Henderson

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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