SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk has quickly denied a sexual assault claim from a former flight attendant, to whom the company reportedly paid $250,000 as part of a severance agreement in 2018.
According to a friend of the flight attendant who was told contemporaneously about the incident but is not bound by any non-disclosure agreements with the company.
Musk allegedly asked for a “full body massage” and offered to buy the flight attendant a horse if she would “do more.” She claims that during the massage, Musk removed the sheet that was covering the lower half of his body, showing her his erect penis while allegedly rubbing her leg. It was alleged that he offered to buy the attendant a horse if she would “do more.”
The friend said in describing the incident. “And he basically tried to bribe her to perform some sort of sexual favor.”
The flight attendant reportedly refused Musk’s advances, and later felt like she was being “punished” with fewer shifts at SpaceX. She settled with Musk in 2018 “after a session with a mediator that Musk personally attended,” Insider says.
According to the report, Musk responded to questions by saying there was “a lot more to this story,” but didn’t elaborate. “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,” he told the publication.
Musk has since taken to Twitter to respond to the allegations, calling them “utterly untrue” and referring to the friend of the unnamed SpaceX flight attendant as a “liar.”
This would not be the first time Musk has made potentially defamatory statements against his perceived enemies on the site.
Notably, Musk’s tweets do not include any denial that SpaceX paid the former employee $250,000 to settle the alleged misconduct claim, or that she is currently under what Insider described as “restrictive non-disclosure and non-disparagement clauses that bar the attendant from ever discussing the severance payment or disclosing any information of any kind about Musk and his businesses.”
Reacting to the accusations after the report surfaced on Thursday, Elon tweeted that “for the record, those wild accusations are utterly untrue.”
In a separate tweet, Musk states that the “attacks against me should be viewed through a political lens” — though it’s unclear if this is meant to refer to Insider, the whistleblower, or both.