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Elon Musk Faces Trial Over Tweet Sent During Thai Cave Rescue

Tesla CEO Elon Musk will face trial on Wednesday, accused of defaming a British cave diver who he branded a "pedo guy" on Twitter.

Vernon Unsworth, who helped rescue 12 young soccer players trapped in a cave in Thailand, is suing the billionaire following a public Twitter spat last year.

The pair have been engaged in a vicious law suit since September 2018 after Musk tweeted to his millions of followers that Unsworthwas a "pedo guy".

In an interview with CNN, Unsworth ridiculed the billionaire's plan to send a miniature submarine into the cave to assist with rescue efforts.

British cave diver Vern Unsworth arrives at US District Court in Los Angeles. Image: Getty

He laughed off the idea and called it a "PR stunt" after the billionaire dispatched a team of Telsa engineers to Thailand.

Musk came under fire for the sledge but insisted "pedo guy" does not mean pedophile in South Africa, where he's from.

"'Pedo guy' was a common insult used in South Africa when I was growing up. It is synonymous with 'creepy old man' and is used to insult a person's appearance and demeanor," Musk said in a court declaration.

The tweet that landed Musk in hot water. Image: Twitter

Things escalated when Musk hired a private investigator to unearth information about Unsworth. He also emailed BuzzFeed, claiming the diver had married his wife when she was a minor.

After the allegations proved false, Musk defended himself and argued he did not intend BuzzFeed to publish the email without verifying the claims.

He's also accused Unsworth of being fame-hungry and said he's tried to get book and movie deals out of the rescue.

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Trial Date Set For Elon Musk's Thai Cave Rescue 'Pedo Guy' Tweet

A trial date has been set for October, with Tesla's Elon Musk facing a lawsuit brought by one of the team that helped rescue 12 boys from a Thailand cave.

Unsworth's lawyers hit back calling Musk "thin-skinned" and a "bully".

Witnesses will include the diver's current Thai wife, who Unsworth was falsely accused of marrying when she was a child, as well as the diver's first wife Vanessa.

The Telsa CEO's lawyers have previously said Musk refused to settle the case.

Contact Eden at egillespie@networkten.com.au