Elon Musk Now Has His Own Sex Scandal: Flight Attendant Received $250,000 to Sign NDA

Elon Musk has a lot on his plate these days: the Twitter purchase, bashing S&P 500 ESG index for excluding Tesla, attacking the Democrat Party, Tesla’s steep depreciation, and a long et cetera. Musk even said he would be the victim of a “dirty-tricks campaign” on a pinned May 18 tweet. That was probably when Rich McHugh established the deadline for a story he was writing to Business Insider about Elon Musk’s own sexual scandal.
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According to the publication, SpaceX hired a flight attendant for the Gulfstream G650ER used by its executives. This clerk was told she had to get licensed as a masseuse from her own pockets to give Musk massages on his trips. In late 2016, the Tesla CEO asked her to come to his room and give him a massage in London.

When she arrived, he was half-naked. During the session, he exposed his genitals to her, touched her without her consent, and said he would give her a horse – she loves equitation – if she would “do more.” Yes, “do more” means exactly what you are thinking. The flight attendant refused. From then on, she felt work began to dry up.

It was only in 2018 that she was convinced she was being pushed out for refusing to prostitute herself. The flight attendant then hired a California employment lawyer to send a formal complaint about what happened to human resources. This lawyer then contacted a flight attendant’s friend who knew about the story to write a declaration corroborating it.

In November 2018, Musk, SpaceX, and the flight attendant signed a severance agreement that paid $250,000 to the clerk if she signed an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) and committed not to sue SpaceX or Musk based on her allegations and if she remained silent about the whole thing. That would have buried this story if it was not for the flight attendant’s friend. She is not subject to any NDA.

Business Insider knows her identity but protected it to avoid possible retaliation against her. It also knows the lawyer and the flight attendant. Both comprehensively declined to make any comments, and their identities were also protected. Any word on the matter could cost them dearly after the NDA.

McHugh also contacted Musk to learn his side of the story. The Tesla CEO surprisingly replied, saying he needed more time to answer and that there was “a lot more to this story.” Business Insider gave him more time, but he never got back – not before claiming it was a “politically-motivated hit piece” and that more sexual-harassment cases would have emerged in his 30-year career. That is a lousy argument.

Harvey Weinstein worked for almost 50 years without any accusation of sexual harassment until the first stories emerged in 2017. More than a dozen women said he raped, assaulted, or sexually harassed them. Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison on March 11, 2020. Bill Cosby also had a more than 50-year career before being accused of the same behavior.

Elon Musk had plenty of time to tell McHugh the “a lot more” this story had. As for the flight attendant’s friend who decided to speak, she said she “felt a responsibility to come forward with it.” According to what she told Business Insider, “when you choose to remain silent, (...) you do become a part of that system." She refers to the social mechanisms that allow wealthy people “to do whatever they want."

Only she can answer why now. Ironically, the Twitter story and all the backlash Musk is receiving for the way he is conducting everything may have given her the courage to disclose what she knew. The fact that the Tesla CEO did not deny the story and paid $250,000 to prevent the involved parts from talking about it does not help him. Joking on Twitter that the sexual scandal will be called “Elongate” makes it even worse.

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About the author: Gustavo Henrique Ruffo
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Motoring writer since 1998, Gustavo wants to write relevant stories about cars and their shift to a sustainable future.
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