In a handful of early-morning tweets Friday, Elon Musk strongly denied an allegation of sexual misconduct involving a former flight attendant on a private jet, calling the “wild accusations” “utterly untrue.”
An Insider report maintains SpaceX, which Musk founded, settled a sexual misconduct claim made by the former flight attendant for $250,000, after she accused him of exposing his erect penis during a massage on the flight and propositioning her for sexual favors in exchange for a horse.
“Finally, we get to use Elongate as scandal name,” Musk tweeted soon after the story published. “It’s kinda perfect.”
The unnamed flight attendant reportedly told a friend of the alleged encounter shortly afterward. The friend’s account served as a basis for Insider’s report, along with a signed declaration from the friend in support of the accuser’s 2018 legal claim, and other documents shared by the friend.
Musk seemed to be aware of the friend’s identity, characterizing her in a dismissive tweet as “a far left activist/actress in LA with a major political axe to grind.”
Musk, the richest man in the world, reportedly attended a mediation session with the woman’s attorney and the company agreed to a $250,000 settlement in 2018 as long as the woman didn’t sue and signed nondisclosure and nondisparagement agreements.
Musk — who tweeted Wednesday that he believed “political attacks … will escalate dramatically in coming months” — responded to Insider’s report by saying there was “a lot more to this story,” adding it was a “politically motivated hit piece.”
“If I were inclined to engage in sexual harassment, this is unlikely to be the first time in my entire 30-year career that it comes to light,” he told the website.
Insider said it extended its deadline for the story and repeatedly asked Musk to comment further, but he did not respond.
The flight attendant’s friend came forward without consulting the woman who made the accusations, despite concerns from the woman’s attorney that doing so could put the former SpaceX contractor at risk, according to Insider.
“I absolutely felt a responsibility to come forward with it, especially now,” the friend told Insider, noting she was not bound by any nondisclosure agreements. “He is the richest man in the world. Someone with that level of power causing that kind of harm and then throwing some money at the situation, that’s not accountability.”
The friend added that the flight attendant said her work as a contractor with the private jet fleet fizzled after she rejected Musk’s advances.
“She started to feel as if she was receiving some sort of retaliation where her shifts were cut back, and she was starting to feel really stressed,” the source said.
The declaration adds that the woman felt “she was being pushed out and punished for refusing to prostitute herself.”