Taking to Twitter on Sunday, Musk said to British cave explorer Vern Unsworth, "Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it." When others criticized Musk's accusation that Unsworth was a pedophile, the billionaire added, "Bet ya a signed dollar it's true."
The inflammatory (and yet unfounded) comments have since been deleted from Musk's feed.
Where'd that come from?
Musk was apparently upset that his proposal to use a miniature submarine in the rescue efforts was scrapped. Unsworth had criticized the plan to CNN, saying, "It just had absolutely no chance of working. He had no conception of what the cave passage was like."
"The submarine I believe was about 5 feet, 6 inches long, rigid, so it wouldn't have gone round corners or round any obstacles," Unsworth said. "It wouldn't have made the first 50 meters into the cave from the dive start point. It was just a PR stunt."
He said of Musk that he can "stick his submarine where it hurts."
Unsworth was part of the team of divers who guided 12 boys — whose ages range from 11 to 16 — and their soccer coach out of a flooded cave where they had being trapped for nearly 10 days.
Responding to Musk's Twitter rant, Unsworth told Australia's Nine Network, "I believe he's called me a pedophile. Well, (if) by definition rescuing 12 young boys ... that puts everybody in the same context."
When asked if we was going to take legal action against the mogul, Unsworth said, "Yes, yes, it's not finished."
But Unsworth stopped short of saying anything personal about Musk, adding, "I am not gonna make any further comment about him but I think people realize what sort of guy he is."
Just days ago, Bloomberg published an interview with Musk wherein the CEO pledged to calm down his rhetoric on Twitter. Musk said, "I have made the mistaken assumption — and I will attempt to be better at this — of thinking that because somebody is on Twitter and is attacking me that it is open season. That is my mistake. I will correct it."