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(Bloomberg) -- SpaceX paid an employee $250,000 to settle a claim she was sexually harassed by Elon Musk in 2016, according to a report from Insider.
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The closely held rocket launch company, of which Musk is founder and chief executive officer, made the payment in 2018 to an unidentified flight attendant who worked as a contract employee on a SpaceX corporate jet, the online news provider said, citing interviews and documents, including a declaration signed by a friend of the attendant and made in support of her claim.
In a series of late night tweets responding to followers, Musk hit back at the article, saying the accusations are “utterly untrue.” He then called the source of the story a “liar” and said the article was a “hit piece” designed to interfere with his acquisition of Twitter Inc.
In an earlier tweet that didn’t directly refer to the Insider report, Musk said “the attacks against me should be viewed through a political lens” but that nothing will deter him from fighting for “your right to free speech.”
The billionaire, who since announcing his $44 billion bid for Twitter has promised to make it more of a free-speech platform, on Thursday said he’s given up on Democrats and will now vote Republican.
The attendant alleged that Musk exposed himself and propositioned her in a private room on the plane during a flight, according to the friend, the report said. Musk offered to buy the attendant a horse in exchange for an erotic massage, it said.
Representatives for Hawthorne, California-based Space Exploration Technologies Corp. didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.
(Adds more Musk tweets in third paragraph.)
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