For news-watchers, there are two main subjects of conversation this morning (notwithstanding the Depp v. Heard trial): Monkeypox and Elon Musk. Monkeypox sounds terrifying, but it is somewhat difficult to transmit and hopefully will not gain much steam (there have been outbreaks in the past — even some cases in the United States — and the fact that the alarm bells are being sounded already may speak to the efficiency of virus detection post-COVID).
Then there’s Elon Musk. Business Insider reported yesterday that SpaceX and Elon Musk reached a $250,000 settlement in 2018 with a flight attendant, who had been trained as a masseuse, whom Elon Musk reportedly propositioned, allegedly offering her a horse in exchange for what sounds like a hand job. She declined. She reportedly lost job opportunities with SpaceX because she rejected Musk, and when she got a lawyer involved, SpaceX and Musk quickly settled the case (with an NDA). The allegations come not from the flight attendant but from a friend of the flight attendant who heard about it soon after it happened (Business Insider claims to have documents supporting the allegations).
One of the more unsettling details here is that, according to BI, flight attendants were encouraged (on their own dime) to take massage classes so that they could provide massage services to SpaceX executives, which is not what flight attendants do. Musk has not denied this allegation.
Elon Musk, on Twitter, has otherwise called the allegations “utterly untrue,” although he told BI that there is “more to the story,” and he is not denying a $250,000 settlement was paid (a lawyer for SpaceX refused to comment). If Mr. Freedom of Speech dropped all the NDAs and treated his employee relationships with the same transparency he allegedly wants to extend to Twitter, maybe we’d have more details. He is, however, clearly taking the allegations seriously. Ahem.
Finally, we get to use Elongate as scandal name. It’s kinda perfect. 🤣 https://t.co/qSNH7lsn72— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 20, 2022
Musk has also called the reporting a “political hit piece,” claiming that it obviously can’t be true because no one else has surfaced with sexual misconduct allegations in the last 30 years, which is kind of like an accused murderer saying that there’s no way it can be true because he’d never been charged with homicide before.
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— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 20, 2022
He may not have been accused before, but this is certainly an interesting anecdote:
I once did a fun cute little blog about how elon musk follows zero women on Twitter (not even his own mother). I asked SpaceX and Tesla for comment because duh and they (the PR professionals!!!) came back to me with “but he follows more women than men on Instagram.” https://t.co/P0eDlS8kqe— sarah jeong (@sarahjeong) May 19, 2022
It is also worth noting that Elon Musk claimed a couple of days ago that he would be voting Republican this year, even though he’s never done so before. He claims Democrats are infected with “woke mind virus” or something, and also Democrats support unions. Musk does not support unions, and Musk has often suggested that workers in China are “smarter” and more “hard-working” than those in America, who are “entitled” and “complacent.” (“Entitled” and “complacent” = unwilling to work dangerously long hours without commensurate pay). Musk believes that the sexual misconduct allegations are part of a Democratic conspiracy to interfere with his purchase of Twitter (which he is trying to get out of buying).
Speaking of politics, the discourse surrounding Musk has also turned to the ill-advised financial decision not only to wade into politics but to side with Republicans and against Democrats, particularly since those on the left side of the political spectrum are the ones most likely to buy Teslas (there aren’t, after all, a lot of Teslas with MAGA stickers).
Hi Jon! You’re a good dude, but obv die-hard Dem, so have to support the party, but this Adminstration has done everything it can to sideline & ignore Tesla, even though we have made twice as many EVs as rest of US industry combined.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 20, 2022
I cannot speak to whether the Biden Administration is supporting Tesla or not (nor whether that is even relevant), but I’m also not sure that many people take their car-buying cues from Joe Biden. A larger percentage of Teslas, however, are purchased in California than any other state, and California is the most progressive state in America. I doubt it is good for the company to alienate those car buyers, especially now that there are a number of other electric vehicles on the market. Tesla stock continues to drop today and now sits at $685 per share (it traded at over $1200 per share in December). Musk’s egocentric pursuit of Twitter may have also sabotaged his main source of income.
It feels like we’ve seen this story before. On Apple TV+. It starred Jared Leto, and it did not end well for him. Such a shame, too, because all he wanted to do was raise the world’s consciousness!
Header Image Source: Getty Images