Late Thursday, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk reported that his aerospace company had paid the flight attendant $ 250,000 to settle allegations that the billionaire had exposed himself to her in flight, tweeting. the allegations are “completely false”.
In response to a question on Twitter, Musk, the world’s richest man, said: “For the record, these wild accusations are completely untrue.” He went on to ask his accuser to “describe only one thing, everything at all (scars, tattoos, etc.) that is not known to the public” to prove that he had been seen “revealed”.
The tweet noted the first time Musk turned to a report earlier on Thursday from Insider that the company paid the unnamed flight attendant to settle a lawsuit that the billionaire had exposed to her. During a flight to London in 2016, Musk said he “exposed his genitals” to a companion after asking her for a “full body” massage, then touched her and offered to buy her a horse if ” do more. ” according to a declaration submitted by a friend of the attendant in support of the claim of the attendant. (The stewardess is reported to be riding horses.)
The flight attendant rejected Musk’s intervention and soon felt that the company was taking revenge by giving her fewer shifts, the flight attendant’s friend told Insider. The employee felt she had been “pushed and punished for refusing to prostitute herself,” the friend said in a statement.
The 2018 agreement, which was reached after a mediation session attended by Musk, paid the escort $ 250,000 in exchange for a promise not to sue, Insider reported. The agreement reportedly includes restrictive non-disclosure and non-depreciation clauses that prohibit the flight attendant from discussing the agreement, disclosing any information about Musk or any of his businesses.
SpaceX and Tesla did not respond immediately to requests for comment.
Musk told Insider that his story was “a politically motivated hit” and that “there is much more to this story.”
“If I was inclined to engage in sexual harassment, this would hardly be the first time in my entire 30-year career that it would come to light,” Musk wrote in an email to Insider.
In December, a former SpaceX engineer said sexual harassment was widespread in the aerospace company., describing in an essay on Lioness how she made numerous complaints about the workplace without results. Ashley Kosak, a former mission integration engineer at SpaceX, said she was touched without consent, stared, invited and sent to her personal Instagram account, adding that SpaceX is “so full of sexismthe only cure is for women to leave. ”
The allegations come to light when Musk is pursuing a $ 44 billion deal to buy Twitter in an attempt to loosen the moderation of the platform’s content, a change that would have a huge impact on politics and society.
CNET’s David Lamb contributed to this report.