SpaceX, the aerospace company founded by Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, paid a flight attendant $250,000 to settle a sexual harassment complaint against Musk last year. 2018, according to Insider news.
This female employee works as a member of the crew under contract for the company’s jet fleet of SpaceX. She accused Musk of having “revealing genitals” in front of her, “massage her feet without consent” and suggest “buy her a pony in exchange for an erotic massage”, according to interviews and documents obtained.
The incident happened in 2016, with a declaration signed by a friend of the hostess. The details of the story were drawn from the affidavit and other documents, including email correspondence and other records shared with the press by a friend of the hostess.
According to the affidavit, this flight attendant worked in a private cabin on Elon Musk’s Gulfstream G650ER plane. She was then encouraged to work as a masseuse so she could give Musk a massage. She confided to a friend that she was offered an erotic massage by Musk while serving her boss.
After Insider Contacted Elon Musk to request comment, the billionaire emailed to ask for more time to respond and said “There’s a lot more to this story.”
“If I am inclined to engage in sexual harassment, this is not the first time in my 30-year career that has come to light,” he said. he wrote and called the above story a “politically motivated hit work”.
Responding via cell phone, SpaceX vice president of legal affairs Christopher Cardaci said: “I will not comment on any settlement.”
A horse for an erotic massage
The flight attendant told her friend that the SpaceX CEO and Tesla founder asked her to come to his room during a late 2016 flight. “for full body massage”, written statement. When she arrived, this waiter discovered that Musk “completely nude except for a veil covering the lower half.” During the massage, the statement said, Musk was “revealing one’s genitals” And after that “touch her and offer to buy her a pony if she wants to ‘do more’, alluding to performing a sexual act.”
The hostess, who has a passion for horseback riding, refused and continued the massage without any sexual acts. “She will not perform pro-sexual acts for money or gifts,” her friend said. The above incident happened on a flight to London.
In an interview with Insider, this friend described the flight attendant’s allegations in more detail. She asked to speak on condition of anonymity, citing concerns for her personal safety.
“He started the offer, by touching her thigh and telling her he was going to buy her a horse. And he was essentially trying to bribe her to make a number of sexual acts”, the person you describe.
“Punished for refusing to work as a prostitute”
The friend said she talked about the misconduct while they were hiking together shortly after their flight to London. The friend described his best friend as distraught and seemingly shaking. “She’s really annoying,” friend said. “She didn’t know what to do.”
The flight attendant told her friend that her job started to get difficult after she turned down Musk’s offers. “Before the incident, she considered Mr. Musk to be a person of respect.” written statement. “But after he exposed himself, touched her without permission, and offered to pay her for sex, she was filled with anxiety.”
“She thinks things can go back to normal and she’ll just pretend like nothing happened,” she said. friend said. “However, she started to feel as if she was getting some sort of retaliation when her shift was cut back, and she started to feel really stressed out.”
Finally, the statement said, the hostess felt “she was pushed out and punished for refusing to practice prostitution”.
SpaceX is particularly focused on massages, even hiring in-home massage therapists as a perk for executives. According to the above friend, the flight attendant was encouraged by her superiors to buy professional massage training so she could serve boss Elon Musk.
“They encouraged her to get a license to work as a masseuse, but arrange her own time to study and pay her own tuition.” friend said. “They implied that she would get to fly more often if she did this, because she would be able to give Elon Musk a proper massage. I think that’s weird because you’re not hired to do it. masseuse You’ve been hired as a flight attendant work and maybe travel.”
Severance payment 250,000 USD
In 2018, after believing her refusal to accept Musk’s proposal had reduced her chances at SpaceX, the hostess hired a California employment attorney and filed a complaint with human resources. company to detail the incident. Around that time, the law firm contacted the friend and asked her to prepare affidavits to support the claims.
The hostess’s complaint was quickly resolved after a meeting with a mediator that Elon Musk personally attended. The matter has never been brought to court of law or arbitration. In November 2018, Musk, SpaceX, and the flight attendant signed a severance agreement, granting the flight attendant a $250,000 payment in exchange for a promise not to sue over the claims.
The agreement also includes restrictive non-disclosure and non-discrimination provisions that prohibit the hostess from discussing severance payments or disclosing any information of any kind about Elon Musk and his businesses. his career, including SpaceX and Tesla.
“When you choose to remain silent, you become part of that system”
The friend said she decided to go public without consulting her friend because, as a former sexual assault survivor, she felt obliged to share what she had been told about. Elon Musk. Unlike the flight attendant, this friend is not bound by any nondisclosure agreement.
“I totally feel a responsibility to get on with it, especially now,” she said. “He’s the richest man in the world. Someone with that level of power causes such damage and then throws out some money to fix it, that’s not the way to be responsible. Yes. harassers all over the world, but when someone is exceptionally rich and powerful, they really have systems that are like machines working for them, to set them up and allow them to do whatever what they want.”
The friend said that if she kept quiet, she would feel like an accomplice. “When you choose to be silent, yes, you become part of that system,” she said. “You really become part of that machine, allowing people like Elon Musk to continue doing the terrible things he’s done.”
Non-disclosure agreements are a key component of this machine. The friend said that before contacting the press, she called the lawyer representing her friend. The lawyer told her that, although she is free to speak to the press, sharing any documents from the case – including her own affidavit – could expose the hostess to Aviation is at risk.
Attorneys say the confidentiality clauses are “bullshit” and that if any other women are victims of Musk, they should speak up. But when it comes to his client, the lawyer urged the friend not to share the affidavit, because “toIt’s going to be a big deal.”
California, where SpaceX is headquartered, no longer allows companies to request a non-disclosure clause in agreements like the one the hostess signed. Just a few months after she signed the affidavit in 2018, the authorities signed the law “Act Against Non-Disclosure”. This act prohibits their use in settlements involving sexual harassment, discrimination, or assault unless requested by the plaintiff.
The attorney did not respond to requests for comment.
“If there’s a way to [cô ấy] speak up without endangering herself, without endangering her life in any way, I believe she will.” hostess’s friend shared. “I hope she feels that I did the right thing. I hope she feels I said things that she didn’t feel safe enough to say.”
“I want the truth to be revealed”
This is the only known allegation of sexual misconduct involving Elon Musk personally.
However, the two companies he founded have faced sexual harassment allegations in the past. In December 2021, four women working at SpaceX spoke out about sexual harassment they said they faced at the company, where Musk is CEO. One person, Ashley Kosak, published an essay recounting being inappropriately groped and groped by a male employee while she was an intern. Three other people – one of whom said she was bound by a non-disclosure agreement – recounted similar treatment to the New York Times.
In response to the reports, SpaceX president and CEO Gwynne Shotwell sent out a company-wide email saying: “Reporting harassment promptly is key to keeping SpaceX as a great place to work; we can’t fix what we don’t know.“, the Times reported. This chairwoman added that SpaceX will “rigorously investigate all complaints of harassment or discrimination and take prompt and appropriate action when we discover that our policies have been violated.”
And at least six women have sued Tesla, where Musk is CEO, alleging sexual harassment at an electric vehicle factory. One woman said men at the factory said bad things and commented on their clothes, prompting some women to then wear baggy clothes and use stacks of boxes to hide. colleague’s vision. Some women say they have been retaliated against for speaking out.
The hostess’ friend said that if anyone else was abused by Musk, she hoped they would make their story public. If there were other victims, she said: “I want them to move forward. I want the truth to be revealed.”
Refer to BI