Elon Musk Ordered To Testify In Lawsuit For Falsely Linking Jewish Man To Neo-Nazi Brawl

Musk is being sued for defamation after falsely accusing a 22-year-old Jewish man of being a federal agent involved with a neo-Nazi group.

A Texas judge has ordered Elon Musk to testify in a deposition as part of a defamation lawsuit that accuses the billionaire of falsely linking a Jewish man to a neo-Nazi brawl.

The tech billionaire and far-right sympathizer was hit with the lawsuit in October after he falsely accused 22-year-old Ben Brody of being a federal agent involved in an Oregon brawl last year between neo-Nazi group Rose City Nationalists and neo-fascist group the Proud Boys.

Brody, a recent college graduate who was not even in the same state when the brawl occurred, said he and his family were forced to flee their home after his personal information was revealed, and he received threats following Musk’s amplification of the dangerous conspiracy.

Last week, Travis County District Court Judge Maria Cantú Hexsel issued an order requiring Musk to sit for a two-hour deposition to explain his actions. HuffPost obtained a copy of the order on Wednesday, which states Musk must testify before April 1 to answer questions, including Musk’s “state of mind at the time the alleged defamatory statement was allegedly published.”

“My family and I are just being harassed completely, and I would be more than happy to clear up any confusion if necessary. This is just so ridiculous and I just really can’t believe this is happening to me right now.”

- Ben Brody in a June 26 video attempting to clear his name

Brody’s lawsuit centers around a June 24 fight in which members of the Portland Proud Boys went to Oregon City’s first-ever Pride Night Fest to disrupt the event. While there, members of RCN got into a brawl with the Proud Boys in an incident captured on video.

In the ensuing violence, a still-unidentified member of RCN had his mask ripped off, revealing the member’s face. Rather than accept the reality of neo-Nazi violence, far-right accounts on X, formerly Twitter, were quick to dismiss that the RCN member was a neo-Nazi and instead suggested the members of the group were all federal agents bent on making the right look bad.

One of those accounts, described in the lawsuit as an “extreme rightwing ‘shitposting’ account affiliated with the bizarre ‘Groyper’ subculture,” was the first to falsely link the RCN member to Brody. The account posted his college fraternity’s social media page that said Brody “plans to work for the government” after graduation.

This was used as supposed proof of Brody’s involvement. Hours later, Musk responded to the account with “very odd.”

In another post on X accusing Brody of being a federal agent, Musk responded again: “Always remove their masks.”

Following a torrent of abuse, on June 26, Brody posted a video offering proof ― including credit card receipts ― that showed he was in California at the time of the Oregon brawl.

“My family and I are just being harassed completely, and I would be more than happy to clear up any confusion if necessary,” Brody said in the video. “This is just so ridiculous and I just really can’t believe this is happening to me right now.”

On June 27, Musk responded to an article from the conspiracy website Zero Hedge that claimed the incident was a false flag by suggesting the neo-Nazi member was Brody.

“Looks like one is a college student (who wants to join the govt) and another is maybe an Antifa member, but nonetheless a probable false flag situation,” Musk wrote on X. He also tagged Community Notes, a section of the website dedicated to correcting misinformation.

Musk’s posts amplifying the conspiracy remain up on X.

Brody is being represented by Houston attorney Mark Bankston of the law firm Farrar & Ball. The law firm previously represented two Sandy Hook parents, who won $45 million in damages against conspiracy theorist Alex Jones after he spent years falsely claiming the 2012 school shooting, which left 20 kids and six adults dead, never happened.

Musk is being represented by John Bash of the Austin, Texas, law firm Quinn Emanuel Trial Lawyers. Bash previously served as the special assistant to former President Donald Trump and was the U.S. prosecutor for the Western District of Texas during the implementation of Trump’s family separation policy.

Along with an order for Musk to be deposed, Hexsel also granted a discovery request for a copy “of any internet browser history for June 25-27, 2023 for any web-connected personal devices Defendant used on those dates.”

In a statement to HuffPost, Bankston said the deposition “should be a very interesting conversation.”

In a motion to dismiss the lawsuit earlier this month, Bash argued that Brody “hopes to abuse the discovery process to harass Musk and increase his litigation costs unnecessarily” and to “harass and inconvenience his adversary.”

A hearing on the motion to dismiss is set for April 22.

Bash did not respond to a request for comment from HuffPost.

Popular in the Community


What's Hot