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Elon Musk Paid $250,000 to Flight Attendant Who Accused Him of Sexual Misconduct: Report

Elon Musk Paid $250,000 to Flight Attendant Who Accused Him of Sexual Misconduct: Report

Elon Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX paid a flight attendant $250,000 as part of a severance agreement after she accused the founder of sexual misconduct, Business Insider reports.

The flight attendant, who worked on a contract basis as a member of the cabin crew SpaceX’s corporate jet fleet, says she was encouraged to get licensed as a masseuse so that she could give Musk massages. In 2016, she was providing the businessman with a massage in a private cabin on his Gulfstream G650ER when he allegedly exposed his erect penis to her, rubbed her leg without consent, and offered to buy her a horse in exchange for performing a sexual favor. She told a friend about the incident, and the friend described it in a signed declaration reviewed by Insider.

According to the declaration, when the unnamed attendant arrived in the cabin for the massage, Musk “was completely naked except for a sheet covering the lower half of his body.” After exposing himself, he “touched her and offered to buy her a horse if she would ‘do more,’ referring to the performance of sex acts.” The attendant, who rides horses, declined and continued with the massage without engaging in any sexual conduct.

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While the flight attendant hoped things would go back to normal following the incident, she told her friend that opportunities began drying up after she refused Musk’s proposition, and in 2018, fearing she was facing retaliation, hired an employment lawyer to file a complaint with SpaceX.

The attendant’s complaint was resolved in a session with Musk and a mediator, and never went to court. However, SpaceX and the flight attendant reached a severance agreement granting the attendant a $250,000 payment in exchange for a promise not to sue over the claims. The agreement also included restrictive non-disclosure and non-disparagement clauses that prevent the attendant from sharing any information about the agreement or Musk and his businesses. The attendant’s friend subsequently came forward with the allegations without her consent, and the attendant herself declined to comment for the story.

While this is the first known allegation of misconduct against Musk, his companies have received prior complaints of harassment. In December 2021, Ashley Kosak, one of four women who worked at SpaceX, came forward with a story of sexual harassment, publishing an essay recounting being groped and touched inappropriately by male employees while she was an intern. The other three women told The New York Times they were bound by NDAs similar to that of the flight attendant. What’s more, at least six women have sued Tesla for sexual harassment, describing men who ogled women and made comments about their appearances with such vigor that some deliberately wore baggy clothes and used stacks of boxes to obstruct their coworkers’ views.

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Musk is in the process of buying Twitter, though he recently said the purchase was “on hold” until the social media platform can prove the total number of bots and spam accounts occupying the site.

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