Evidence of sexual harassment mounts at Tesla and SpaceX

A storm is brewing around Elon Musk. No, this time not for the takeover (or not) of Twitter, not for spaceflight, and not even for electric vehicles. The richest man in the world and his flagship companies Tesla and SpaceX have been the subject of several complaints and allegations of sexual harassment.

The latest readings were published on May 20 in insider and goes back to 2016. The woman explains that her flight attendant friend at SpaceX, after she was hired, was recommended to train as a masseuse so she could work on the multibillionaire’s private jet, the Gulfstream G650ER. What did she do. This event was supposed to take place during a massage in a private aircraft cabin.

Horse offered for sex

According to her, Elon Musk, naked under a towel, turned around during the massage, showed her his erect penis and began to touch her. Then he would offer to buy her a horse (the owner is an avid rider) if she “did more.” She refuses and leaves.

Worried about her position, she prefers to act “as if nothing had happened”. But the company is gradually removing it from the charts. In 2018, she hired a lawyer and submitted a sexual harassment report to SpaceX, backed up by signed statements from colleagues. After the meeting, which was attended by Elon Musk, the case is resolved without going to court, as permitted by US law. SpaceX signs her a check for $250,000 to keep the case from going to court and keep her quiet.

“These accusations are absolutely false”

Agreements of this type are prohibited since the end of 2018 in California in cases of sexual assault, discrimination or assault, unless it is at the request of the victim. SpaceX is headquartered in Hawthorne. Even if Elon Musk wants to move it to Texas.

Technically, the victim did not violate his contract: a friend and former colleague did.

On Twitter, Elon Musk defended himself. “These accusations are absolutely false.” “I challenge this liar who says that her friend saw me “discovered”: tell me anything (scars, tattoos …) that is not known to the general public,” he said. “She can’t do it because it never happened.”

“Political attacks” after joining the Republicans

And in continuation: “Attacks on me must be viewed through a political prism – this is their (despicable) usual way of doing things.” Indeed, May 18 Tweets by Elon Musk that he would no longer vote for the Democrats, but for the Republicans. Since then, the critics have merged. He even warned that “political attacks” against him “will intensify dramatically in the coming months.”

However, as it turned out insider and edge, these tweets came immediately after the editors tried to contact him to respond to these allegations. After several repeated requests, Elon Musk responded to insider “If I were a sexual aggressor, there would have been other testimony in my 30-year career already.”

Tesla and SpaceX Sexual Predation Zones

However, SpaceX and Tesla have previously been at the center of allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior. In 2021, five former SpaceX employees said they were attacked and flirted with by colleagues and superiors. For example, Ashley Kosak describes multiple touches. And although the reports were brought to the attention of Human Resources, no action or response was taken.

The woman went public with her daily life at the Tesla in Fremont: “Nearly every day for three years, my female colleagues and I were subjected to sexual objectification, threats, touching, or even obscene suggestions in the workshop lines.” Jessica Barraza repeatedly reported issues to Human Resources to no avail before filing a criminal complaint in November 2021. A month earlier, Tesla was ordered to pay a Fremont employee $137 million for racism and a hostile environment. And already in 2017, the Fremont branch was named by an engineer in a lawsuit as a “predation zone.”

In all complaints and in all testimonies, one opinion is repeated: that this sexist culture is voiced from above. “When Elon Musk tweets sexist things, it reinforces the sense of impunity for the group’s persecutors. After all, if he talks about it, it is only because it is allowed, ”Describes Jessica Barraza.

As usual, Elon Musk spoke… on twitter. Joking below the belt: “We can finally use Elongate as a nickname for a scandal. Perfect for now.” “Elongate”, in English, can be translated as “elongated”.