Another day, another famous man’s unwanted penis in the news: The internet is reacting to a report from Insider that Tesla CEO Elon Musk paid a woman $250,000 to settle a sexual misconduct case in 2018.
The incident allegedly took place in 2016, when the woman was working as a flight attendant on SpaceX’s corporate jets. According to Insider’s report, the woman accused Musk of displaying his erect penis to her, as well as rubbing her leg without her consent.
This is bad enough. However, the weird detail that many have latched onto is that Musk allegedly offered to buy the woman a horse if she would perform sex acts on him.
Today’s revelation of negative news about Musk isn’t a surprise. Those paying attention to Musk’s Twitter feed were already speculating that an unflattering story might break, as the billionaire appeared to be trying to get ahead of something.
“Political attacks on me will escalate dramatically in coming months,” Musk tweeted at 12:22 p.m. EDT on Wednesday.
“In the past I voted Democrat, because they were (mostly) the kindness party,” he continued a few hours later. “But they have become the party of division & hate, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican. Now, watch their dirty tricks campaign against me unfold…”
Insider’s investigations editor John Cook noted that the publication reached out to Musk for comment at approximately 9 a.m. that same day — less than four hours before Musk took to Twitter to declare he would soon be under attack.
Musk called Insider’s story a “politically motivated hit piece,” but did not comment on the allegations themselves. Following the publication of the article today, Musk responded to his own tweet to call his prediction of persecution “spot on.”
“The attacks against me should be viewed through a political lens — this is their standard (despicable) playbook — but nothing will deter me from fighting for a good future and your right to free speech,” Musk continued to spin after the article was made public.
Notably, Musk still has not addressed the allegations themselves.
Twitter users have noted that a good way for Musk to fight for free speech would be to release people from their non-disclosure agreements, allowing them to speak freely about their encounters with him.
Some have also resurfaced a tweet from Musk last year stating that “Tesla policy is never to give in to false claims, even if we would lose, and never to fight true claims, even if we would win.”
It isn’t clear if Tesla’s policy is the same as its CEO’s. However, if it is, Musk’s choice to settle this case could indicate the sexual misconduct allegations against him are not unfounded.