‘Post This Before It Gets Banned’: Elon Musk Pic With Ghislaine Maxwell Floods Twitter Post-Buyout
10:38 GMT 26.04.2022 (Updated: 12:56 GMT 14.04.2023)
© AP Photo / Hannibal HanschkeTesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the Axel Springer media award in Berlin on Dec. 1, 2020. As Twitter’s newest board member and largest shareholder, Musk is already floating suggestions for changes he’d like to see on the social media platform. In a series of tweets late Saturday, April 9, 2022, Musk said that the company should include an “authentication checkmark” as a feature of its Twitter Blue premium subscription service, which costs $3 a month.
© AP Photo / Hannibal Hanschke
Elon Musk, the billionaire chief executive of Tesla, finally bought the microblogging platform Twitter, with the company saying in a Monday statement that it had “entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an entity wholly owned by Elon Musk, for $54.20 per share in cash in a transaction valued at approximately $44 billion".
After SpaceX founder and Tesla chief executive Elon Musk sealed a deal on Monday to buy Twitter for around $44 billion, users of the social media site flooded it with pictures of the tech billionaire in the company of Ghislaine Maxwell.
Users posted a 2014 photo of Musk and Maxwell, a former girlfriend of the late convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. The British socialite was found guilty on 29 December 2021 of recruiting underage girls to be sexually abused by the billionaire financier between 1994 and 2004 at his various properties.
Posts on Twitter taunted Elon Musk, who had previously stated that he sought to take the company private seeking to “transform” the social media site into a “platform for free speech around the globe”.
Some users suggested that Twitter's new owner would likely soon ban the image from the platform.
Users retweeted images of the two, captioning their posts with: “Post this image while you still can" and "You have limited time to post this photo of Elon Musk and Ghislaine Maxwell before it gets banned".
One user captioned the picture, "last time elon musk bought something that was roughly 14 years old", in a reference to a jury in New York federal court finding Maxwell guilty in December 2021 on five of six federal charges, including sex trafficking of a minor.
Her request for a retrial was denied earlier in April, with sentencing set for 28 June.
Elon Musk has repeatedly denied knowing Maxwell, saying the photo was a coincidental one of them both attending the same Oscars afterparty.
Don’t know Ghislaine at all. She photobombed me once at a Vanity Fair party several years ago. Real question is why VF invited her in the first place 🤔— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 3, 2020
Musk tweeted in July 2020 to emphasise that he didn’t know her at all, and she had “photobombed” him once at a Vanity Fair party.
A spokesperson for the billionaire also weighed in, saying a year ago that Ghislaine Maxwell “simply inserted herself behind him in a photo he was posing for without his knowledge".
25 April 2022, 18:55 GMT
News that Twitter's board of directors had accepted Musk's $44 billion offer to buy the company on 25 April came in the wake of a weeks-long saga.
It first saw the billionaire become one of the company's largest stakeholders, acquiring a 9.2 percent share in the microblogging platform. Elon Musk was then offered a seat on its board, which he rejected.
After the US entrepreneur, investor, and business magnate offered to buy the company earlier this month for $43 billion, Twitter's board of directors adopted a limited-term shareholder rights plan called a "poison pill" on 15 April to render it more difficult for Musk to carry out his plan.
As Musk announced last week that he had already secured $43 billion in funding for the acquisition, Twitter’s 11-member board was reportedly prompted to take another look at his buyout offer.
26 April 2022, 06:41 GMT
Finally, on Monday, Twitter revealed it had conducted a “thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon's proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty, and financing”.
The proposed transaction was hailed as “the best path forward for Twitter's stockholders" in a statement by Twitter chairman Bret Taylor.
On Monday, Musk tweeted to say that he hoped even his “worst critics” would remain on Twitter, because “that is what free speech means”.