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The judge in Elon Musk's 2018 Tesla privatization tweet case refused to silence the head of the company. Thus, the request of the shareholders, which violates Musk's rights, was not granted.
Elon Musk fought off an attempt by investors to force him to remain silent and not speak at all on the Tesla privatization case. Shareholders insisted that US District Judge Edward Chen bar Musk from making any comments on his opinions in the 2018 case until it is completed.
This request came after Musk during his talk at Technology Entertainment and Design (TED) in Vancouver gave some details of it. The head of Tesla said that funding for his company's privatization was actually secured at the time he posted his tweets in the summer of 2018. However, the SEC continued an active public investigation, which harmed the company significantly. Thus, under pressure, Musk was forced to give in to the SEC.
“So I was forced to concede to the SEC unlawfully. Those bastards,” he said.
The complexity of the situation was that the banks began to threaten to stop providing capital to Tesla if Musk did not agree to the SEC settlement, which would immediately make the company bankrupt. Creating the company from scratch, investing so much time and effort into it, and completely sacrificing personal life all meant that letting Tesla die would be unacceptable. Musk raised Tesla like a child, because the company had an important mission ahead. Under such tremendous psychological pressure, he felt compelled to settle with the SEC.
“So that's like having a gun to your child's head,” Musk said. “I was forced to admit that I lied to save Tesla’s life and that’s the only reason,” he added.
On Wednesday, a federal judge ruled that investors “failed to make a satisfactory showing” that an order restricting Musk's public comments is necessary or justified. Tesla's lawyers argued that such an order violated his rights to free speech in accordance with the US Constitution. The district judge agreed with Musk's argument that comments deemed objectionable by investors would not reach the millions of potential jurors in the case. Jurors will be drawn from a large, populous, metropolitan community, Chen said, according to BNN Bloomberg.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.