Musk Tells Libel Jury He's Worth $20 Billion, But Lacks Cash, Despite Paying $50k To Dig Dirt On Thai Rescuer
2019-12-04 — yahoo.com
Musk's wealth came up in the second day of his testimony before a federal jury in Los Angeles where the Tesla Inc. and SpaceX chief executive is on trial over a tweet in which he referred to a British cave expert as a "pedo guy."
After an unsuccessful objection from his lawyer, Musk told the jury he has Tesla stock, and SpaceX stock, with debt against those holdings, and his net worth is about $20 billion. But contrary to public opinion, he said, he didn't have much cash. Musk finished testifying after a total of about six hours on the stand over two days.
In September, Musk revealed in court documents that one of his trusted
aides, Jared Birchall, paid $50,000 to hire a private investigator who looked into Unsworth. Attorneys for Unsworth said the investigator was offered a $10,000 bonus if he was able to confirm nefarious behavior -- which was never paid.
Birchall testified he hired James Howard, who later turned out to be a conman.
After Howard came up with what later turned out to be fake dirt on Unsworth, such as that he had been visiting Thailand since the 1980s and that he met his wife when she was a teenager, Birchall, using the name James Brickhouse, told Howard to leak the information to media in the U.K.
"I believed him to be a credible investigator," Birchall told the jury. "I understood these things to be facts. I asked him to share facts."
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