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SpaceX paid an employee $250,000 to settle a claim she was sexually harassed by Elon Musk in 2016, according to a report from Insider.
The closely held rocket launch company, of which Musk is founder and CEO, made the payment in 2018 to an unidentified flight attendant who worked as a contract employee on a SpaceX corporate jet, the online news provider said, citing interviews and documents, including a declaration signed by a friend of the attendant and made in support of her claim.
In late-night tweets responding to a follower, Musk said: “For the record, those wild accusations are utterly untrue.” He then called the source of the story a “liar” and said the incident never happened.
In an earlier tweet that did not directly refer to the Insider report, Musk said “the attacks against me should be viewed through a political lens” but that nothing will deter him from fighting for “your right to free speech.”
The billionaire, who since announcing his $44bn bid for Twitter has promised to make it more of a free-speech platform, on Thursday said he has given up on Democrats and will now vote Republican.
The attendant alleged that Musk exposed himself and propositioned her in a private room on the plane during a flight, according to the friend, the report said. Musk offered to buy the attendant a horse in exchange for an erotic massage, it said.
Representatives for Hawthorne, California-based Space Exploration Technologies did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
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