A former SpaceX flight attendant accused billionaire and founder Elon Musk of sexual misconduct in 2018.
According to reports shared with Business Insider, the private flight attendant was given a settlement of $250,000 to sign a nondisclosure agreement.
Email correspondence and other documents released by the attendant’s friend to Insider revealed that during a flight to London in 2016, Musk exposed his erect penis to a female cabin crew member of SpaceX.
He allegedly touched her and asked her to “do more” before offering to buy the woman a horse in exchange for a massage.
The attendant, who rides horses, massaged Musk without engaging in sexual activities, according to the documents.
The friend also shared a signed legal declaration, confirming the attendant’s claims at the time of the incident.
When asked to comment, Musk answered that there was “a lot more to this story.” He added, “If I were inclined to engage in sexual harrassment, this is unlikely to be the first time in my entire 30-year career that it comes to light.”
Musk has also since responded via Twitter, posting on Thursday that the case’s sudden leak was a political ploy.
“The attacks against me should be viewed through a political lens– this is their standard (despicable) playbook– but nothing will deter me from fighting for a good future and your right to free speech,” he stated in a post that has received more than 530,000 likes and over 45,000 replies.
Musk reiterated on May 18 that he planned to vote Republican moving forward.
“In the past I voted Democrat, because they were (mostly) the kindness party,” he said. “But they have become the party of division & hate, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican.”
Many social media users pointed out that the timing of the sexual misconduct allegations warranted suspicion. They emphasized that Musk had warned the day before to watch out for the Democratic Party’s “dirty tricks” to “campaign against [him] unfold.”
Musk later also emphasized that “political attacks” against him would be escalating “dramatically in coming months.”
A tweet from Musk earlier this month foreshadowed his potential departure from the Democratic Party when he suggested that President Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election by default, rather than popularity.
“Biden’s mistake is that he thinks he was elected to transform the country, but actually everyone just wanted less drama,” he wrote.