SAN FRANCISCO (HPD) — Elon Musk is back in federal court in San Francisco to defend himself against a class action lawsuit that alleges he misled Tesla shareholders with a tweet about a botched takeover of the company’s shares, and the billionaire insisted Tuesday. in which he could have materialized it, if he had wanted to.
Musk had been on the stand for nearly three hours during his third day of testimony when he was excused by US District Judge Edward Chem. Musk, 51, is unlikely to be called as a witness again during a civil trial that begins. is scheduled to be held before a jury of nine people in early February.
During cross-examination by his own lawyer Alex Spiro, Musk, the owner of Twitter and CEO of Tesla, described himself as a highly reliable business leader capable of raising as much money as he needs to achieve his goals. He argued with one of the shareholders’ lawyers, Nicholas Porritt, who had already angered him at trial.
At two separate times Tuesday, at Spiro’s gentle prodding, Musk left no room for doubt about his contempt for Porritt with a comment expressing doubt that the lawyer was looking out for the interests of Tesla shareholders. The comments drew a swift rebuke from the judge and were struck from the record. “It’s inappropriate,” Chen admonished Musk at one point.
When questioned by Porritt, Musk intentionally averted his gaze from the lawyer and delivered his explanations looking directly at the jurors who were seated a few feet to his right. At another point, Musk claimed, without elaborating, that a question by Porritt about whether he had ever caused investors to suffer losses contained “falsehoods.”
On the other hand, Spiro mistakenly addressed Musk as “your honor” when he asked him how much money he had made for investors over the course of his career. The slip caused a moment of levity in a San Francisco courtroom packed with media and other onlookers in attendance to hear from Musk, who has become even more famous since completing his $44 billion purchase of Twitter in October.
The current trial revolves around whether a pair of tweets posted by Musk on August 7, 2018, affected Tesla shareholders during a 10-day period before the billionaire admitted that the company’s stock purchase he had planned it was not going to happen. The statements led to Musk and Tesla reaching a $40 million settlement with authorities without acknowledging any wrongdoing.