A former flight attendant for SpaceX accused Elon Musk of sexual misconduct from an incident dating back to 2016. A bombshell report claims the company paid the attendant $250,000 in a settlement to buy her silence.

According to a legal declaration written by a friend the flight attendant confided in, Musk allegedly propositioned the woman while she was giving him a massage on one of SpaceX’s corporate jets. During a flight to London, Musk reportedly requested a massage and was nearly completely naked upon her entering his room. According to the declaration, Musk then “exposed his genitals” and told the attendant he would buy her a horse if she performed sexual favors for him.

The flight attendant was not identified in the story and declined an interview. She is still barred from speaking about the event due to a nondisclosure agreement she signed for the settlement. Her friend said she was “really upset” after the incident and “didn’t know what to do.”

Flight attendants, including Musk’s accuser, were allegedly frequently encouraged to become certified as masseuses so they can serve executives including Musk and had to pay for the lessons on their own dime. The company has touted in-house massage therapists as a benefit for prospective employees in the past.

The attendant then realized that her shifts were being cut back, and told her friend she felt “she was being pushed out and punished for refusing to prostitute herself.” In 2018, the attendant hired an employment attorney and sent a formal complaint to SpaceX, which is also when the friend’s declaration was written.

The complaint was allegedly resolved soon afterward out of court, and the attendant walked away with a $250,000 severance agreement. In exchange for the money, she agreed not to file suit regarding the accusation and is also still barred from discussing the payment or events of the incident due to non-disclosure agreements.

Musk responded to a request for comment in an email. “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 also referred to the story as a “politically motivated hit piece.” Musk has also been tweeting frequently about the story and recently challenged the friend interviewed to “describe just one thing” about… his lower body to prove themselves right.

In another tweet, Musk also claimed that the goal of this piece was clearly to “interfere with the Twitter acquisition,” even though Musk himself seemed to be looking for a way out of it just last week. He also claimed that the story was “written before they talked to me,” even though Musk is quoted in the piece.

While this is the first accusation of its kind known about Musk, his companies and factories have been in hot water over other allegations of harassment. Several former SpaceX employees have claimed that they received unwanted sexual attention while working at the company, and Tesla has been sued by 24 women over the past five years claiming that they have been objectified, harassed and even physically assaulted in Tesla factories.

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