(The Hill) — SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk apparently responded late Thursday to an article from Business Insider that says Musk was accused of sexually propositioning a SpaceX flight attendant, calling the claims not true.
The report, citing interviews and documents, states that a flight attendant says Musk exposed himself during a massage and ask her for sex, according to a friend of the SpaceX employee. The flight attendant declined his advances and later got a lawyer after she felt she lost opportunities at the company for turning away Musk’s overtures.
Musk on Thursday failed to cite the report, but tweeted “for the record, those wild accusations are utterly untrue.” In a tweet shortly after the story was released, he said, “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.”
Documents seen by Insider show SpaceX and the flight attendant reached an out-of-court settlement of $250,000, with her signing on nondisclosure so she could not speak about the event. The friend Insider talked to said she felt she had a “responsibility” to tell the story due to the power Musk has as one of the richest people in the world.
Insider knows the name of the friend but decided not to provide in the report, saying she declined to provide comment for the article. Musk initially responded to Insider’s request for comment saying he needed more time to respond.
“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,” Musk told the outlet. He told Insider that the article was a “politically motivated hit piece” and said there was “a lot more to this story.” Musk did not respond to further inquiries from Insider.
The article comes after Musk announced he would be switching from the Democratic to the Republican Party.“In the past I voted Democrat, because they were (mostly) the kindness party. But they have become the party of division & hate, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican. Now, watch their dirty tricks campaign against me unfold,” he said Thursday.
Musk has also recently reached a deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion, a move that has been largely denounced by Democrats and praised by Republicans. The Hill has reached out to SpaceX for comment.