2018 Sexual Harassment Settlement Against Elon Musk Comes to Light

2018 Sexual Harassment Claims Come Out About Elon Musk

Details have been released about a $250,000 settlement that SpaceX paid to quiet a sexual harassment claim against Elon Musk in 2018.

The flight attendant was contracted on SpaceX’s corporate jet. She accused Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, of exposing himself to her, rubbing her leg without his consent, and offering to buy her a horse in exchange for an erotic massage.

The 2016 incident was supported by a declaration made by a friend of the attendant and in email correspondence.

According to the declaration, the attendant confided to her friend that after taking the SpaceX job, she was encouraged to get licensed as a masseuse so she could give Musk massages and get to fly more often. She told her friend that Musk had propositioned her during one such massage on Musk’s Gulfstream Jet.

In the declaration, the flight attendant tells her friend that during a massage on a flight to London, Musk, who was only wearing a sheet covering his lower body, exposed his genitals, touched her thigh and offered to buy her a horse if she would “do more,” referring to sex acts. The attendant declined. The friend described the attendant as distraught, visibly upset, and full of anxiety when she told her about the incident.

After the incident, the flight attendant felt that she was retaliated against as her shifts were cut. She felt she was being punished for refusing to prostitute herself.

In 2018, the flight attendant hired an employment lawyer. The complaint was settled for $250,000 in exchange for a promise to not sue over the claims. The agreement included a non-disclosure and non-disparagement clause.

The attendant’s friend was the one who decided to come forward about what she was told about Musk. Unlike the flight attendant, she was not bound by a non-disclosure agreement. As a survivor of sexual assault, she felt a responsibility to bring Musk’s misconduct to light. This friend felt it was important for her to speak up in order to not let predators go without accountability, especially wealthy and powerful individuals like Musk, who can cover up their wrongdoings by throwing money at it.

Non-disclosure agreements are crucial components of the system that allows for this lack of accountability. Later in 2018, just months after the flight attendant signed her agreement, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the “Stand Against Non-Disclosure Act” which bars the use of NDAs in sexual harassment/assault settlements going forward.

The flight attendant’s allegation is the only known misconduct claim against Musk himself; however, both his companies have faced a number of allegations of sexual harassment.

Musk has responded saying that the timing of the story is politically motivated.

The flight attendant’s friend hopes her publication of Musk’s misconduct inspires others who were mistreated by Musk to come forward.

Do you think Elon Musk committed sexual harassment? Do you think the flight attendant’s friend purposely chose to hold back coming forward until now?

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