Elon Musk Hit By $250,000 Sexual Harassment Settlement

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A new report from Business Insider reveals that an allegation of sexual misconduct perpetrated by Elon Musk led to a $250,000 settlement with the apparent victim in November 2018. The original incident apparently involved a flight attendant aboard a SpaceX corporate jet, where Musk requested a massage from the attendant and then targeted her. That was in 2016.

The settlement was paid by SpaceX, one of Musk’s companies, and it was paid after the targeted attendant began to experience apparent retaliation for refusing to go along with what Musk wanted. According to a friend of the attendant, 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 then-attendant herself is restricted by a non-disclosure agreement that was signed in tandem with the settlement payment. But according to information obtained by Insider, she “accused Musk of exposing his erect penis to her, rubbing her leg without consent, and offering to buy her a horse in exchange for an erotic massage,” as that outlet summarizes.

According to a document prepared by that friend backing up the attendant’s claims, the attendant was encouraged by higher-ups to become licensed as a masseuse in order to provide massages for Musk in association with her flight attendant duties, although she was expected to obtain this licensing at her own expense. And it wasn’t just a general suggestion — the superiors “implied that she would get to fly more often if she were to do this because she’d be able to give Elon proper massages,” according to the friend.

As for the sexual misconduct incident, the targeted attendant apparently informed that friend of details of what happened soon after the flight (to London) in question. Per that friend, the attendant “was really upset” and “didn’t know what to do.” Prior to the settlement arrangement, the attendant found a California lawyer dealing with employment issues and dispatched a detailed complaint to the SpaceX human resources department. The resolution for the complaint was reached following a sit-down with a mediator where Musk was in attendance — the issue never went to arbitration or court. Musk doesn’t appear to have provided a specific, detailed response to the allegations raised in Insider’s report, although he referred to the story as a “politically motivated hit piece.” According to Insider investigations editor John Cook, Musk was contacted for comment at about 9 a.m. Eastern on May 18. A little after noon Eastern on May 18 — before the Insider story came out — Musk tweeted: “Political attacks on me will escalate dramatically in coming months.”

Musk is infamously currently pushing to purchase Twitter (or at least, that’s what he says he’s doing, assuming that he doesn’t have an ulterior motive). Insider implicitly notes the contrast between Musk’s self-proclaimed pro-free speech stance and the fact that the attendant is subject to a non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreement related to the settlement arrangement. Read more at this link.