Lawyers for Elon Musk on Wednesday filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit against him related to tweets calling a British rescue diver a "pedo guy," saying the comments were exaggerated and Twitter itself is "infamous for invective and hyperbole."
Diver Vernon Unsworth sued Musk in September for libel and slander and is seeking at least $75,000 in compensatory damages. The legal back-and-forth drags Musk's antics back into the spotlight, after a tumultuous year for the CEO and Tesla.
In the filing, Musk's lawyers say he was defending himself and his companies in taking jabs at Unsworth on Twitter. The diver had publicly questioned Musk's efforts to help rescue a Thai boy's soccer team that was stranded in an underwater cave.
"Shocked by Unsworth's indefensible and baseless attacks, Musk answered to defend himself and the efforts of SpaceX, Tesla, and the Boring Company employees who had given up their days and nights to help find a solution," the motion to dismiss says. "Musk took to Twitter — a social networking website infamous for invective and hyperbole — to respond."
Unsworth's attorney Lin Wood said in a statement to CNBC said he was confident the case would move forward.
"I entirely reject Mr. Musk's frivolous contention that all statements published on Twitter or other social media are protected speech. I am confident the trial court will likewise reject this fanciful position which if adopted, would effectively prevent an individual from seeking redress for any and all false and defamatory attacks on reputation published on the Internet," Wood said.