Elon Musk testified in court . Friday in a trial that could decide whether a tweet he sent in 2018 cost . Tesla investors millions of dollars.
Tesla shareholders are suing the company for damages they say they suffered amid. Musk’s claims that he “secured” money to take the company private for $420 per share.
Musk told an attorney representing . Tesla shareholders on Friday that his tweets were true, if limited by . The social media platform’s character count.
Musk also argued that . Tesla’s stock price doesn’t always perform as well as his tweets might expect, noting that at one point. He tweeted that he believed Tesla’s stock price was too high, only to see the stock’s price climb even higher.
“because I tweet something doesn’t mean people believe it,” Musk said.
Court was adjourned before the attorney. Nicholas Porritt, could ask Musk about the “funding secured” tweet.
If the take-private plan materialized. Tesla stockholders at the time could have made a profit on their holdings. But when it became clear that there was no deal. Tesla’s stock began a steady decline that continued into the following year.
On Wednesday, Alex Spiro. An attorney for Musk’s Tesla CEO, called the 2018 tweet “a split-second decision. Implying that Musk was being transparent about . The discussions he had with Saudi Arabia’s Public . Investment Fund about a potential deal.
“He didn’t plan to tweet it,” Spiro said.
Nicholas Porritt, an attorney representing lead plaintiff . Glen Littleton, 71, of Kansas City, Missouri. and other shareholders allege Musk defrauded them.
“His lies cost regular people like . Glenn Littleton millions and millions of dollars,” Porritt said. adding that the tweet also hurt pension funds.
After the trial adjourned Wednesday. Porritt told The Associated Press that he expected to call . Musk to the stand Friday after two other witnesses testify. If the allotted time runs out, Musk will likely testify on Monday, Porritt said.
This is not the first time Musk has been sued for his speech on Twitter. He won a defamation case in 2019 against Vernon Unsworth, a diver whom . Musk called “Pedo Guy” on stage after Unsworth helped rescue a soccer . Team trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand.
Trials are unusual because most class-action shareholder lawsuits are dismissed or settled. In this case, Musk and his attorneys said they believe they can convince a jury that his tweets about making. Tesla a private company again were made in good faith.
Littleton told the nine-person San . Francisco jury that Musk’s claims about the financing alarmed him. According to his testimony, Littleton bought the . Tesla investment designed to reward him for his belief that . The automaker’s stock would be . worth far more than the $420 per share that . Musk claimed would be the price the company would take private.
Littleton said he sold most of his holdings to cut his losses but still saw the value of his Tesla portfolio drop by 75%.
“The damage is done,” Littleton said. “I was in shock.”