Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Inside the First Day of the Elon Musk Defamation Trial

Elizabeth Lopatto, the Verge:

Then it was time for opening statements. Taylor Wilson, a partner at L. Lin Wood and a lawyer for the plaintiff, put up a chart I couldn’t see with a lot of dates on it. (The chart was aimed at the jury and would continue to obscure my view all day.) He then walked through the dates of the basic action around the tweets with the energy of a nervous middle schooler doing a monologue at the school play. Not only did Musk call Unsworth a “pedo guy,” Wilson pointed out, when Kevin Beaumont sarcastically called the tweet “classy,” Musk replied “bet you a signed dollar it’s true.” (The “signed dollar” tweet has also been deleted.)

Musk apologized on July 17, but that wasn’t the end of it. Wilson rather irritably told the court that despite the apology, Musk did not retract his “worldwide accusation on Twitter” that Unsworth was a pedophile. Wilson then told the court that Musk’s family office retained a PI to look into Unsworth and on August 28th, instructed the investigator to leak negative information to the press. (It would later emerge that the PI was, in fact, a con man.)

Musk is not coming across particularly well — which is not surprising for someone who broadcast an insinuation, without any shred of evidence, that a barely-public person was a pedophile. I still cannot understand why he didn’t settle and retract his claims. Arrogance, perhaps.

You will thank your comment blocking browser extension when reading this and seemingly all articles reporting on the trial, as it prevents you from enduring a toxic wasteland of moronic pseudo-legal arguments and Musk worship. Lopatto’s piece, on the other hand, is terrific.