In March of this year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk was sued by Randeep Hothi for defamation. The suit alleged that Musk had made a series of false and defamatory claims about the business practices of Hothi’s previous company, misspelling its name and accusing it of being a fraud. According to reports, the trial cost Musk ten thousand dollars apiece for every day it lasted.
The $10,000 settlement between Hothi and Tesla appears to have been reached out of court. Musk had previously asked to settle the case back in March, but Hothi declined. The settlement may come as a relief to both parties involved, who had been stalemated for nearly three years.
The skeptic eagerly anticipates receiving his check from Tesla, which he views as a demonstration of the technology’s effectiveness.
Hothi has been a long-time skeptic of Tesla’s plans for the gigafactory and their purported “full self-driving” technology. In 2019, Tesla sought a permanent restraining order against Hothi, alleging he had “stalked, harassed, and endangered” employees while they were out driving in a Model 3. Hothi has denied these allegations and stated that he is only interested inTesla’s technological advancements and whether or not they will impact the safety of drivers.
The company said that Hothi had “violated the company’s trespassing and privacy policies” by installing cameras around the Fremont, California, facility. Tesla has filed a complaint with the police department in Fremont, who are investigating.
Since Hothi’s Tesla case was dropped, some are wondering if a “defense fund” for her was created to protect her reputation. The fact that the fundraiser raised over $229,592 leads many to believe that support for Hothi exists in spite of Tesla’s allegations. While it is unclear what evidence Tesla may have used to back its claims, the dismissal of the lawsuit suggests that there may not have been anything substantial to support them after all.
In the email, Musk said that Hothi had “almost killed Tesla employees.” Hothi filed a lawsuit for defamation against Musk, claiming that his claim is false and damages his reputation. The case is still pending.
In early August 2020, CEO of Tesla and Space Exploration Technologies, Elon Musk, was sued by Hothi for comments he made about the company on Twitter. While Musk’s supporters accused Hothi of being a liar, a murderer, a terrorist, and a deranged maniac, attorneys for Musk petitioned the court to dismiss the case. However in December 2020 it was revealed that SpaceX had been developing plans to produce hyperloops that would potentially hit Mars. This revelation led prosecutors to withdraw their request to dismiss the case.
Tesla has always been a company that stands up for what they believe in, no matter the cost. After Hothi filed their lawsuit against the company last year, Musk tweeted that Tesla would “never surrender/settle an unjust case against us, even if we will probably lose.” Musk’s statement showed his commitment tofighting for what is right and proved that Tesla was not going to back down. Although Hothi’s lawyers cited this tweet in a statement on Monday, saying “We welcome Musk’s belated acknowledgment that this case was just,” it is clear from his earlier tweets that he had strong convictions about the matter and wasn’t willing to give up without a fight.
Hothi’s lawyers have asked the court to dismiss their client’s case, based on lack of evidence. This is a blow to Hothi, as the conviction would have meant a lengthy jail sentence. With this request, it remains to be seen whether or not prosecutors will continue with the case.