Los Angeles - Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk was due to resume testifying in his own defense on Wednesday at the trial for a defamation lawsuit filed by a British diver whom the Silicon Valley billionaire called "pedo guy" on Twitter.
Musk, the 48-year-old South African-born entrepreneur, apologised for the tweet during his first day on the witness stand in US District Court in Los Angeles on Tuesday, saying he was responding to an "unprovoked" insult by plaintiff Vernon Unsworth.
Unsworth was leading a rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Thailand last year when he mocked Musk's offer of a mini-submersible as a public relations stunt in an interview on CNN, adding that the Tesla Inc founder should "stick his submarine where it hurts."
"I assume he did not mean to sodomize me with a submarine. ... Just as I didn't literally mean he was a pedophile," Musk said from the witness stand under questioning by Unsworth's attorney, Lin Wood.
Unsworth is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages from Musk, who also founded rocket company SpaceX, saying the false claims that he is a pedophile harmed his reputation.