Elon Musk Tagged As A Liar In Tesla Tweet Trial
Elon Musk was depicted as either a liar who callously jeopardized the savings of “regular people” or a well-intentioned visionary as attorneys delivered opening statements at a trial focused on a Tesla buyout that never happened, Michael Liedtke reported for the Associated Press (AP).
Photo Insert: The tweets indicated that Musk had lined up the financing to take Tesla private at a time when the automaker’s stock was slumping amid production problems.
Lawyers on opposing sides drew starkly different portraits of Musk for a nine-person jury that will hear the three-week trial.
The case is focused on two August 2018 tweets that the billionaire posted on Twitter, which he now owns. The tweets indicated that Musk had lined up the financing to take Tesla private at a time when the automaker’s stock was slumping amid production problems.
The prospect of a $72 billion buyout fueled a rally in the company’s stock price that abruptly ended a week later after it became apparent that he did not have the funding to pull off the deal after all.
Tesla shareholders then sued him, saying that Tesla shares would not have swung so widely in value if he had not dangled the idea of buying the company for $420 per share.
Nicholas Porritt, a lawyer representing Glen Littleton and other Tesla shareholders in the class-action case, promptly vilified Musk as he addressed jurors. “Why are we here?” Porritt asked.
“We are here because Elon Musk, chairman and chief executive of Tesla, lied. His lies caused regular people like Glen Littleton to lose millions and millions of dollars.” He also asserted that Musk’s tweet also hurt pension funds and other organizations that owned Tesla stock at the time.