Elon Musk 'Set Out to Destroy Me,' Says Cave Diver After Losing 'Pedo Guy' Defamation Lawsuit Against Tesla Boss

The British cave-diver who helped rescue 12 Thai boys in June 2018 has said he was left "humiliated, dirtied, shamed" after he was branded a "pedo guy" by Elon Musk online.

Speaking for the first time since losing his $190 million defamation lawsuit against the Tesla founder, Vernon Unsworth described his humiliation following the pair's public spat last year while Musk attempted to send a small submarine to help with the rescue operation at the Tham Luang caverns in Chiang Rai.

Unsworth dismissed Musk's attempt to help with the rescue as a PR stunt, adding he can "stick his submarine where it hurts." Musk responded to the criticism with a series of tweets, including one in which he referred to Unsworth as a "pedo guy."

Musk testified in court the remark was meant to mean "creepy old man" rather than pedophile. He added it was a "flippant insult" that and no one interpreted to mean pedophile.

In an interview on ITV's Good Morning Britain, hosted by former CNN anchor Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid, Unsworth said Musk had "set out to destroy me" with his comments.

"I mean, psychologically, I'm probably a tough guy. Hard on the outside, soft on the inside," Unsworth said. "Even some of this stuff that came out of the private investigators report was disgusting. Even refer to me as a 'sexpat whoremonger.'"

Unsworth said Musk must have confused him for "a random guy" and not an integral part of the rescue mission of the soccer team. He added that "he went out and researched" him before deciding to send the tweets.

Unsworth said he did not have an online presence like he does now, so said that the billionaire must have googled Chiang Rai and saw it is known for child-sex trafficking.

"He tried to research me... 'Suspicious old guy in Thailand—pedo,'" Unsworth said.

In an email exchange with Buzzfeed News, Musk also referred to Unsworth in emails as a "child rapist" who married a 12-year-old Thai girl.

"He's an old, single white guy from England who's been traveling to or living in Thailand for 30 to 40 years, mostly Pattaya Beach, until moving to Chiang Rai for a child bride who was about 12 years old at the time," Musk wrote.

"As for this alleged threat of a lawsuit, which magically appeared when I raised the issue (nothing was sent or raised beforehand), I f***** hope he sues me," he added.

When asked how he managed to lose the defamation case against Musk, Unsworth's lawyer, Mark Stephens, claimed the jury in Los Angeles "misunderstood the law" and when asked during the court proceedings.

"Is it defamatory? Had it been published? Did the tweet refer to Vern? No, end of case," Stephens said. "The jury took that literally. They said to themselves his name was not in the tweet."

Musk's office has been contacted for comment.

Vernon Unsworth
British rescue diver Vernon Unsworth, arrives at US District Court on December 3, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Unsworth was suing Tesla CEO Elon Musk for defamation over calling him "'Pedo Guy" and a rapist. Apu Gomes/Getty