A flight attendant has alleged that Elon Musk paid her $250,000 to keep quiet after subjecting her to sexual harassment aboard a Gulfstream airline. The unnamed SpaceX flight attendant said the incident happened in 2016 and that Musk asked her into his private cabin where he asked for a massage. The Tesla billionaire denied the allegation and said it was politically motivated.
According to the attendant’s friend who is speaking out, the victim entered into a non-disclosure agreement to keep mute over the affair after it was brought up with the billionaire. She said Musk exposed himself to the attendant after she was invited into his cabin. The billionaire asked for a full massage and promised to buy a horse for the attendant after learning she loved horses.
The attendant performed the massage but declined to accept the horse. Then in 2018, the attendant spoke to an employment lawyer in California, and they dispatched a complaint to SpaceX’s human resource department. Musk invited the attendant to a meeting and a mediator was present. The duo settled out of court and the billionaire offered the attendant a severance payment as well as $250,000 to keep quiet.
The friend said she felt it is her responsibility to bring the matter forward and that Musk should be held accountable for his action.
“I absolutely felt a responsibility to come forward with it, especially now,” the friend said. “He is the richest man in the world. Someone with that level of power causing that kind of harm and then throwing some money at the situation; that’s no accountability.”
The President of the Association of Flight Attendants Union, Sara Nelson, said it was because of sexual harassment that the authorities established the flight attendants union 76 ago – to protect workers.
“Musk’s alleged actions in the cabin are a stark reminder of why Flight Attendants first organized 76 years ago: to beat back discrimination and sexual harassment/assault by claiming our power to put misogyny and the privileged corporate class of men in check,” Nelson stated.
She emphasized that the billionaire should not be deluded into thinking that he can have his way with anyone and that his money can make way for him.
“Flight attendants are not just another accessory on Musk’s little rocket,” she said. “His corporate America no longer holds the power it tried to take from workers. We know our worth and the power we have together. We’re here on earth, there on SpaceX, and everywhere. He’s going to have to face it or face the final frontier without any of the people who make it possible.”
Given that Elon Musk is in the process of acquiring Twitter for $44 billion, with vows to promote free speech on the social media platform, the billionaire said his distractors are behind the “wild” and “utterly untrue” allegations to sour his name and reputation.
“The attacks against me should be viewed through a political lens — this is their standard (despicable) playbook — but nothing will deter me from fighting for a good future and your right to free speech,” Musk said.