Elon Musk has been accused of exposing his penis to a flight attendant for SpaceX, the aerospace company Musk founded. According to Business Insider, documents show that the attendant who is not named was paid $250,000 by the world’s richest man to settle the sexual misconduct claim against him in 2018.
The attendant is reported to have been a contract member of the SpaceX’s corporate fleet. She alleged Musk exposed his erect penis, rubbed her leg without consent, and offered to buy her a horse as quid pro quo for an exotic massage, according to interviews and documents Insider said it has.
The information about the incident, which allegedly occurred in 2016, was included as part of a declaration from an unnamed friend of the attendant, which was prepared to support the attendant. Additional documents provided to Insider include emails and other records shared by the friend with Insider.
The declaration per Insider claims the attendant told the friend that after she took the job, she was encouraged by superiors to obtain a license to be a masseuse, ostensibly so she could give Musk massages. The attendant allegedly told her friend it was during a massage in a private cabin in 2016 that Musk propositioned her while she gave him a “full body massage.” When the attendant entered the cabin, she claimed the SpaceX founder “was completely naked except for a sheet covering the lower half of his body” and that he later “exposed his genitals” and he “touched her and offered to buy her a horse if she would ‘do more,’ referring to the performance of sex acts.”
A rep for SpaceX did not immediately return Rolling Stone’s request for comment. Musk told Insider via email that there is “a lot more to this story.”
“If I were inclined to engage in sexual harassment, this is unlikely to be the first time in my entire 30-year career that it comes to light,” he wrote, calling the story a “politically motivated hit piece.” Musk also addressed the accusations on Twitter Thursday evening. “The attacks against me should be viewed through a political lens,” he wrote. “[T]his is their standard (despicable) playbook — but nothing will deter me from fighting for a good future and your right to free speech.”
According to the friend, the attendant, who rides horses, declined and continued with the massage. The friend claimed to Insider during an interview that the attendant told the friend “he whipped out his penis, it was erect” and that “he touched her thigh and told her he would buy her a horse. And he basically tried to bribe her to perform some sort of sexual favor.”
The declaration states that after the attendant declined, she felt “she was being pushed out and punished for refusing to prostitute herself.”
In 2018, the attendant hired an employment lawyer, who sent a complaint to the company. The friend was asked by the lawyer to provide the declaration to corroborate the attendant’s claims.
The matter was reportedly settled out of court and the attendant was granted $250,000 severance in exchange for agreeing not to sue over the claims and on condition of a non-disclosure and non-disparagement clause, which bar the attendant from discussing the matter or disclosing information about Musk and his businesses.