Elon Musk has tripled-down on his seemingly baseless assertion that one of the key figures in the rescue of a Thai soccer team trapped in a flooded cave is a paedophile, accusing the British man of being a “child rapist” who too residence in the nation to marry a 12-year-old.

In explosive emails to BuzzFeed News, the Tesla chief once again claimed that Vernon Unsworth is a paedophile, and urged a reporter to “find out what’s actually going on and stop defending child rapists, you fucking asshole.”

The entrepreneur claimed “most of the actual dive team refused to hang out with him. I wonder why…”

Musk also teed off on Unsworth’s assessment that the miniature submarine Musk’s company Space-X engineered for the rescue effort was just a “PR stunt,” saying it wasn’t used was because pumps had already removed much of the water from the Tham Luang cave before the sub’s arrival.

BuzzFeed News threw doubt on all of those claims. Their reporting has not yet turned up any evidence of a criminal record for Unsworth in the UK, while a Thai official said it was highly unlikely Unsworth, who has lived in Thailand on-and-off for years, would be granted a visa if there was evidence he was a child abuser.

Richard Harris and Craig Challen, the Australian medical pros hailed as heroes for their role in the operation, also dismissed Musk’s claims. They told BuzzFeed News that Unsworth was an “excellent guy and absolutely vital to the mission.”

Musk was unable to substantiate his claims to the outlet.

All of this comes after Unsworth retained the services of a lawyer to begin defamation action against Musk, who first bandied about his claims on Twitter in July. In the latest emails, Musk said “I fucking hope he sues me.”

The latest turn in this bizarre saga is backdropped by increasing scrutiny on the Tesla chief’s leadership – and the positively surreal involvement of rapper Azealia Banks in the whole ordeal.

Source: BuzzFeed News
Image: Brian Lawless / PA Wire