We’re about to see exactly what the billions of dollars under the command of Elon Musk can do against one of the worst kinds of allegations that can be leveled against anyone in today’s climate. Last night a bombshell report was dropped about Musk, claiming he had exposed himself to an employee and offered to compensate her for sexual favors. The story sent the new hashtag “#Elongate” trending, along with “Stormy Daniels” because of the similarities to the scandal that dogged former President Donald Trump.
It was Business Insider who released the story with allegations dating back to 2016. Insider’s source is not the alleged victim, but the alleged victim’s friend who said she would feel “complicit” in the crimes if she didn’t come forward. She said her friend, a former SpaceX flight attendant, had been encouraged to become a licensed masseuse so she could give Musk massages during flights. She reportedly pursued the license on her own time and expense, and it was during a massage session that Elon Musk allegedly exposed his erect penis to her, touched her thigh, and offered to buy her a horse if she were to perform sexual acts for him. She refused according to her friend, and over the course of two years she saw her work shifts greatly reduced; she believed in retaliation for her refusal. The flight attendant hired a lawyer and — in a mediation performed outside of a courtroom — agreed to a $250,000 severance settlement. The signing of non-disclosure agreements was part of the settlement, and Inside says the flight attendant herself has declined to comment on the story. Inside claims to be in possession of email correspondences and “other documents” which back up the story.
Insider says that when they reached out to Elon Musk for a statement, the SpaceX founder reportedly asked for more time to prepare a response, but wrote that there was “a lot more to this story” He also argued, “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.” Insider further says Musk called the story a “politically motivated hit piece.”
While Insider says that the time Elon Musk asked for has since run out without a response, the mogul isn’t staying quiet. Late last night, he tweeted that “the attacks” on him “should be viewed through a political lens,” implying the story is more about his bid to buy Twitter and his statement that he would be backing Republicans in 2024. A couple of hours later, he retweeted his own year-old post; making light of the trending “#Elongate.”
Insider notes that while this is the first such allegation of sexual misconduct leveled against Elon Musk that we know about, it’s not the first time such accusations have surfaced from Musk’s businesses. Four women employees of SpaceX went public with harassment they allegedly experienced at the company, and six women have leveled lawsuits against Tesla for sexual harassment allegedly experienced at the same Tesla factory.