Tesla Critic Sees Elon Musk Settle Lawsuit For $10,000: “The World Is Now Recognizing He Is A Charlatan”

According to counsel for the plaintiff, Elon Musk agreed to pay $10,000 to settle a defamation case filed by a Tesla Inc. critic who became a hero among short sellers with his Twitter tweets and then accused the CEO of smearing him with false allegations that he threatened the electric car maker’s employees.

Randeep Hothi got into a legal fight with Tesla in California after gaining a following on Twitter under the handle “Skabooshka” and criticizing the company’s shaky Model 3 sedan production in 2018. Hothi grew up near Tesla’s Fremont factory, where he used cameras and drones to monitor production output, and his on-the-ground study piqued the interest of numerous hedge funds.

Tesla requested a restraining order against Hothi in 2019 after allegations that he stalked and harassed its employees, including dangerously veering his car into a Model 3 on a motorway test drive and injuring a Tesla security guard in a hit-and-run on company property.

The automaker discontinued its court lawsuit after Hothi disputed the charges, but Hothi claimed in a 2020 defamation suit that Musk’s public condemnation of him spurred an internet hate campaign in which he was accused of being “a liar, a murderer, a terrorist, and a deranged maniac.”

The trial was supposed to be set for this year in Alameda County Superior Court in Hayward.

Hothi: “I believe my work is now vindicated”

In a Twitter thread explaining the settlement, Hothi expressed his “heartfelt gratitude” to all who supported him to “first defeat Tesla and now hold Elon Musk to account.”

“I am pleased to see that the world is now recognizing that he is a charlatan,” the Tesla critic said.

Hothi said he decided to accommodate Musk’s $10,000-settlement “for several reasons” but he took the move as a sign that his work “is now vindicated.”

“Musk himself vindicated my work, name, and mission. Last year, he claimed he would never settle a case unless it was just. So, I appreciate the meaning of the offer and look forward to receiving a check from him in the mail,” said Hothi.

Back in May 2022, Musk tweeted that his camp “will never seek victory in a just case against us, even if we will probably win.”

“Accepting the offer allowed me to protect the many wonderful people who supported me and who might otherwise be put in danger,” he added.

One of Hothi’s attorneys, Gil Sperlein, stated in a statement that his client accepted Musk’s offer to settle the matter. Hothi’s case was dropped in court on Monday, but the terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

The settlement comes on the heels of a development in another legal dispute Musk is currently facing. The chief executive has been compelled to give a deposition in a lawsuit accusing Tesla’s driverless technology of causing a fatal collision, after the carmaker said the Musk’s public claims regarding autopilot could have been deepfaked.

Information for this briefing was found via Bloomberg and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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