- A Tesla critic said he is accepting Elon Musk’s offer of $10,000 to resolve a defamation suit.
- Randeep Hothi, the critic, said the outcome leaves him “vindicated.”
- Hothi had alleged the Tesla chief defamed him in an email claiming Hothi “almost killed Tesla employees.”
Elon Musk is settling a lawsuit filed by a Tesla critic who had accused the electric carmaker’s chief executive officer of defaming him.
The critic, Randeep Hothi, said on Monday that he’d accepted Musk’s offer to settle his defamation suit for just $10,000 and one cent, pointing to Musk’s tweet last year in which the Tesla chief had said that he’d “never surrender/settle an unjust case against us.”
“This case was about taking a stand, not seeking fame or money,” Hothi said in a statement on Monday. “I feel vindicated.”
Musk, his attorney, and a representative for Tesla did not immediately respond to Insider’s emailed request for comment on Monday evening.
Hothi had brought his lawsuit in 2020, taking issue with Musk’s comments in an email to Aaron Greenspan, who runs a legal information initiative called PlainSite, in which Musk had suggested Hothi had been violent toward Tesla employees.
Hothi and Tesla had been at odds for some time then, as Hothi had taken pictures of Tesla vehicles at their facility, Insider previously reported.
On one particularly contentious occasion in 2019, Hothi encountered a Tesla security guard — after that, the company filed a restraining order against Hothi over those interactions, accusing him of endangering Tesla employees by driving near them. Hothi has “vehemently denied” Tesla’s allegation that his car hit any employee.
Still, Musk around the time had then sent an email alleging that Hothi “actively harassed” Tesla employees and “almost killed” them, Hothi said.