Elon Musk isn’t flush with cash, despite being one of the world’s richest men, he admitted during the trial over his “pedo guy” tweet.
The Tesla CEO said most of his fortune — which he said is worth about $20 billion — is locked up in stock and his private rocket company, SpaceX.
“People think I have a lot of cash. I actually don’t,” Musk reportedly testified in Los Angeles, adding that he also has debt against his stock holdings.
The Wednesday revelation came on Musk’s second day of testimony in a federal defamation lawsuit brought by British cave explorer Vernon Unsworth, whom Musk branded a “pedo guy” in July 2018.
Unsworth — who played a role in last year’s rescue of 12 boys from a network of Thai caves — is seeking damages over the baseless insult, which Musk says he didn’t mean literally.
The case could go to a jury Thursday after testimony from Unsworth’s estranged wife and an internet expert who will discuss the impact of Musk’s tweets.
Musk is the world’s 34th-richest person with a net worth of $26.5 billion as of Wednesday, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index. His SpaceX holdings account for $14.6 billion of that, while his Tesla shares and options are worth a combined $12.8 billion.
Musk also has a $101 million investment in his infrastructure firm The Boring Company and some $900 million in various liabilities, according to Bloomberg.
Tesla shares were down less than 0.1 percent at $332.75 in premarket trading as of 7:37 a.m. Thursday.
Unsworth’s lawsuit against Musk stems from a spat over Musk’s offer to help with the Thai cave rescue with a mini-submarine.
Musk has said he posted his inflammatory tweet in response to Unsworth telling him to “stick his submarine where it hurts” during an interview with CNN.
Unsworth has to show Musk was negligent in publishing the “pedo guy” tweet. The Tesla co-founder has said the term was a common insult meaning “creepy old man” when he was growing up in South Africa.
With Post wires
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