SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell Defends Elon Musk Amid Sexual Harassment Accusations
03:57 GMT 25.05.2022 (Updated: 20:13 GMT 19.10.2022)
© AP Photo / Alex BrandonTesla and SpaceX Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk talks with President Donald Trump speaks after viewing the SpaceX flight to the International Space Station, at Kennedy Space Center, Saturday, May 30, 2020, in Cape Canaveral, Fla.
© AP Photo / Alex Brandon
The news site Insider dropped an explosive article last week in which Elon Musk was accused of having exposed himself to a SpaceX flight attendant, propositioning her for sex and offering to buy her a horse. SpaceX then allegedly paid the flight attendant $250,000 to buy her silence.
SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell sent an email to all SpaceX employees regarding the accusations titled, “The recent news story,” in which Shotwell defended the richest man in the world.
"Personally, I believe the allegations to be false; not because I work for Elon, but because I have worked closely with him for 20 years and never seen nor heard anything resembling these allegations," wrote Shotwell in the email.
"Anyone who knows Elon like I do, knows he would never conduct or condone this alleged inappropriate behaviour."
"Every accusation of harassment is taken very seriously, regardless of who is involved. For privacy reasons I will never comment on any legal matters involving employment issues,” wrote Shotwell, who is the highest ranking female employee of SpaceX and has a net worth of $460 million.
Musk, the chief executive of Tesla and SpaceX, has denied the allegations and referred to them as a “politically-motivated hit piece” intended to stomp out his bid to buy Twitter.
“They began brewing attacks of all kinds as soon as the Twitter acquisition was announced,” Musk tweeted Friday morning. “In my 30 year career, including the entire MeToo era, there’s nothing to report, but, as soon as I say I intend to restore free speech to Twitter & vote Republican, suddenly there is…”
The article claims that a flight attendant for SpaceX had been motivated by company superiors to get a massage license so she could give Musk massages during flights.
The Insider article tells an anecdote in which during a 2016 flight to London aboard a Gulfstream G650ER, Musk allegedly asked the flight attendant to give him a full-body massage. During the massage, Musk exposed himself and “touched her and offered to buy her a horse if she would ‘do more,’” referring to acts of sex.