Insider claims that SpaceX settled a sexual misconduct allegation against Elon Musk for $250,000 after a flight attendant on the company's corporate plane accused Musk of exposing himself to her mid-flight.
Insider has disclosed that the incident occurred in 2016 and the firm reached a settlement with the anonymous flight attendant in 2018, according to a friend of the flight attendant who was informed contemporaneously about the incident and is not bound by any non-disclosure agreements with the company.
Musk allegedly requested a full-body massage and offered to buy the flight attendant a horse if she "did more."
According to an insider, the flight attendant was encouraged to pay for professional massage training so she could better serve Musk during flights.
During a massage while en route to London, Musk allegedly exposed himself and "proposed" to the woman.
In recalling the encounter, the friend stated, "He grabbed her thigh and told her he would get her a horse." And he essentially attempted to bribe her to perform a sexual favor.
Reports also revealed the flight attendant resisted Musk's overtures and later felt "punished" with less shifts at SpaceX. She settled with Musk in 2018 "after a mediation session attended by Musk himself," according to Insider.
Musk reacted to questioning with "there's a lot more to this tale," according to the report, but did not clarify.
"If I were inclined to participate in sexual harassment, this would not be the first time it has come to light in my 30-year career," he told the outlet.
Musk has subsequently responded to the charges on Twitter, calling them "completely false" and labelling the friend of the anonymous SpaceX flight attendant a "liar."
This would not be the first time Musk has posted potentially defamatory statements on the site about his perceived enemies.
Notably, the billionaire's tweets do not include any denial that SpaceX paid the former employee $250,000 to settle the alleged misconduct claim, or that she is currently subject to what Insider described as "restrictive non-disclosure and non-disparagement clauses that prohibit her from ever discussing the severance payment or disclosing any information about Musk and his businesses."
Musk claims in a another tweet that attacks against him should be evaluated through a "political lens"; however, it is unclear whether he is referring to Insider, the whistleblower, or both.