Elon Musk claims his investigator tricked him about diver he called a ‘pedo’

In court documents, Tesla CEO says he regrets attacking man who helped save young soccer players trapped in underwater cave

Elon Musk

Elon Musk has claimed he was fooled by the investigator he hired to get dirt on a British diver, according to new court documents.

Im a fucking idiot, Musk said, according to documents surfaced in court on Tuesday, in the latest development in a bizarre defamation case brought against the Tesla CEO over comments made in 2018.

Musk has been feuding with Vernon Unsworth, a diver who helped rescue a team of young soccer players stuck in an underwater cave in Thailand, ever since Unsworth criticized Musks plan to save the youth with a submarine.

Musk called Unsworth a pedo guy on Twitter and referred to him as a child rapist in emails to a BuzzFeed reporter.

Unsworth sued for defamation in September 2018.

Musk has argued in earlier court filings that he made the pedo guy insult in jest. Lawyers for Unsworth dismissed that claim at the time, pointing out that Musk had accused Unsworth in subsequent tweets and emails to BuzzFeed of sexual behavior with children and had referred to disturbing information allegedly uncovered in a private investigation funded by Musk.

Unsworths legal team said in a court filing on 7 October that Musk failed to vet the man behind the investigation.

Musk admitted in an email cited in the court filing that the investigator, James Howard-Higgins, whom he hired to look into Vernons background merely was, in retrospect, just taking us for a ride.

In communications cited in the filing, Musk claimed he regretted emailing a BuzzFeed reporter, Ryan Mac, saying it was one of the dumbest things Ive ever done.

Unsworths team called Musk a thin-skinned billionaire who is obsessed with his public image and has a history of vindictively and intentionally ignoring the truth to maintain that PR-created image. In the filing, Unsworths lawyers also noted that Musk paid at least $52,000 to the investigator without vetting him.

The team alleges Musk paid to orchestrate a malicious, false, and anonymous leak campaign in the UK and Australian press regarding Unsworth.

Vernon Unsworth will now spend the rest of his life with the asterisk of pedophilia attached to his name as the direct result of a public relations campaign of false, heinous accusations by Elon Musk, the filing from Unsworths team said.

Musks legal team said Unsworth brought the case in pursuit of self-promotion.

This case is nothing but a money-grab in which Unsworth has hired an agent and pursued profit, publicity and self-promotion at every turn, Alex Spiro, Musks lawyer, told the Guardian by email.

The case is set to go to trial on 2 December 2019.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

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Graffiti-covered Banksy truck to be auctioned

Bonhams to sell massive artwork at Goodwood Revival sale next month

Art and design

Among the gleaming Bugattis, Aston Martins and Porsches at one of the UKs premier car auctions next month will be a 17-tonne truck with a price tag to match them all.

Bonhams has announced it is selling what can arguably be called Banksys largest art work at its Goodwood Revival sale on 14 September.

The truck was covered with graffiti by Banksy in 2000, when he was still very much under the art worlds radar. While a used Volvo FL6 box truck might cost a buyer somewhere in the low thousands of pounds, this one is estimated at between 1m-1.5m.

Ralph Taylor, Bonhams head of postwar and contemporary art, said he was thrilled to have the work in the sale.

Banksy is arguably the most important artist to have emerged since the millennium and this, his largest commercial work, represents a new high watermark of quality for works of his to appear at auction, Taylor said.

The composition bears all the hallmarks of this peerless agent provocateur.

The artist was at an open-air party in Spain to celebrate the millennium when he was presented with the truck by Mojo, the co-founder of Turbozone International Circus.

He started on the truck during the party and continued to work on it for a fortnight. It was then used, for years, as the companys transport around Europe and South America.

The truck is called Turbo Zone Truck (Laugh Now But One Day Well Be in Charge). It is funny and anarchic and has flying monkeys, soldiers running away from a cannon and a man about to smash a TV screen with a hammer.

Bonhams said the over-riding message of the piece was anarchy its us against them and were going to win..

Taylor said there was no getting away from what the work was. It is an enormous great lorry, he said. Contemporary art can be anything, from a small painting to an installation that takes up an entire room. This is a 17-tonne lorry and it is completely painted. Its an immersive experience it is incredibly impressive when you see it.

Taylor said the work was from a pivotal moment in Banksys career, a time when he was beginning to work in the studio, as well as on the street, producing work that he would show in self-staged exhibitions.

The lorry has motifs seen over and again in Banksys work, particularly monkeys. One image is a riff on Soviet-era posters of industrial work, with Banksy showing a factory worker with a Mohican smashing a television.

There are references to art history and to social history, said Taylor. Banksy is always at his best when there is that kind of vicious black humour. When its funny, thats when its good and thats why he is so successful, that is why he keeps on being voted the nations favourite artist. It feels like hes been coming top of those polls for a decade.

The lorry was done at a time street artists were often considered a menace, the reason why Banksy always pictures himself as a rat and calls his company Pest Control.

For someone to give him free rein to paint an entire lorry that would then travel around would have been such a huge gift and opportunity, to have such a big canvas with no risk of getting arrested.

The market for Banksy is a strong and global one, said Taylor. The auction record is for one of his works is $1.9m a Damien Hirst spot painting on to which Banksy has stencilled a maid doing the cleaning.

Last year the art world was left stunned as a Banksy work, Girl With Balloon, began to shred itself after the hammer went down at Sothebys in London for 1.04m. It was given a new title by Banksy, Love is in the Bin and is the only artwork ever created live during an auction.

Bonhams said it expected strong interest from institutions as well as collectors passionate about collecting unusual vehicles.

The truck will be sold by the auction house on the Goodwood estate in West Sussex, the ancestral home of the Duke of Richmond, founder of the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Goodwood Revival.

One of the more traditional highlights of the 14 September sale is an ultra-rare 935 Bugatti Type 57 Atalante Faux Cabriolet, which has an estimate price of 1m-1.5m.

Three years ago Bonhams sold a Banksy Swat van which he created for his break out Barely Legal show in Los Angeles. It fetched 218,500.

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Were women with brown skin, talking proudly about sex

Explicit podcasts are booming, but the three women behind Brown Girls Do It Too say theirs is different

Digital media

As the truism goes, every generation thinks it invented sex. But surely this is the first to be talking about it more and doing it less?

On Thursday, BBC Asian Network launched Brown Girls Do It Too, a six-episode sex podcast hosted by three millennial British women of second-generation Bangladeshi, Indian and Iranian heritage. Not to be confused with Brown Girls Do It, a well-established independent podcast about books, politics, race and class, the newer project is at the Carry On meets Carrie Bradshaw end of the cultural spectrum.

In it, Poppy Jay, 33, Rubina Pabani, 31, and Roya Eslami, 24, talk about their sexual experiences and discoveries in what is pitched to listeners as a raucous, intimate over-share. And so Eslami tells of losing her virginity to a Tinder date, Pabani explains how she pulled the hottest man in the room and Jay insists sex [need not be] a special, precious thing it is just an activity for me, like going to the gym, its a function and a release.

All three of them work in the media in London and were approached by a male producer at the station to work on the project. None of them knew each other beforehand or had even met until the day of recording.

We went to the pub before the recording of the first episode, says Eslami, who tongue-in-cheek describes herself as a Persian princess. I think it helps were not friends when I told these girls about [the boys Ive slept with], they heard that for the first time, so I hope there is a freshness when youre listening to it.

Thats one perspective, but some will find that Brown Girls feels contrived, and a cynical move by the Asian Network. In person, the three of them are entertaining; they insist that there is nothing like their show out there and specifically, in terms of British Asian girls talking about masturbation and blowjobs on a BBC platform, there isnt but the business of aural sex is booming.

Women talking frankly and explicitly about sex and relationships is a major podcast genre there are now dozens out there. Given that episodes are invariably listened to solo rather than as shared experiences, the format lends itself perfectly to the subject. In the UK alone, Laid Bare, Project Pleasure and Unexpected Fluids have already been smash hits, following in the wake of Cock Tales and Inner Hoe Uprising.

Sex is so personal, no two stories are exactly the same, says Eslami, so Im not worried about ours sounding similar. The difference for them, she says, is that we all talk a lot about being 15-year-old Asian girls, having a moustache, not being fancied by any boy in school. I want to tell [girls like that], that one day youre going to love yourself and youre going to enjoy sex and you dont need to worry about this period where you feel like a sexless being.

The three agree that theyre horrified at the idea of their parents listening but beyond that they dont worry too much about the response they get. Of course we worry about what our mums and dads think, says Jay, but I dont even know the words for sex in Bengali its never talked about and that shame is used to control women. Sex comes with all this baggage of guilt and it really shouldnt.

I think the members of my community who do hear about it will be shocked, but I think thats OK and its fine, nods Pabani. Its not about destroying ties to our culture or religion or communities. [Other Asians] seeing me a certain way might make bridges for women after me, to be able to be freer and to speak. Im fine with it.

Yet on the flipside, when it comes to a broader audience, Pabani thinks it would be upsetting if people thought it was radical. Were just women talking about sex, we just happen to have melanin in our skin. And we want to feel multi-dimensional Id like people to see us as quite chill about the way we speak about sex. Were not ashamed, were proud of our exploits and the things weve learned.

A long list of reasons have been reported as to why millennials are having less sex than generations before them economic insecurity, porn and the distraction of Netflix have been cited by psychologists explaining the 21st century sex recession. But Eslami, who also admits Ill never sleep with anyone unless Im waxed downstairs, is adamant that sex is evolving with us. I think its amazing we sext, send nudes and a guy can use an app to send his girlfriend a buzz on her sex toy from across the country.

The three brim with contradictions, but overturning stereotypes imposed on them, they say, is key. Often, white people dont see Asian people as sexual beings. The perception is that were more modest, humble or prudes, says Eslami.

And so she tells listeners that she has made a list of all the people she has slept with on her phone but is also still in the process of trying to orgasm with a partner. We dont come across as experts, she says. Were just girls who have done really good things with sex and really bad things with sex the theme is that were just honest about the good, bad and ugly.

Jay, who says Ive been playing catch-up since I was 25, wants to spread the word that everyone is bonking. Theyre bonking in cars, hotel rooms, parks and we need to be honest about it.

Eslami laughs. And by talking about it, we want to break the myths and fictitious representations of sex the sex you see on TV where there is five pumps and the girl has come? Thats not how it is.

Listen and learn: more sex podcasts

Laid Bare

Three black British women have formed a special club for the sex positive and opinionated to lay bare just how much they, and their listeners, get laid.

Project Pleasure

By promising theyre putting the pleasure back into safe sex and healthy relationships, two friends explore how everyone can have a better time in bed.

Savage Lovecast

The original that spawned so many podcast offspring, Dan Savages sex and advice series started as a weekly newspaper column in North America. Now he tackles the problems posed by his listeners.

Unexpected Fluids

Alix Fox and Riyadh Khalaf offer real-life, embarrassingly honest stories about sex particularly when things go awry. Expect tales of amazement and despair and over-sharing from their guests.

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‘The show needed to come back’: how Drake rescued the druglords of Top Boy

It was Britains answer to The Wire. But the gang drama was dead until the rapper stepped in and pitched it to Netflix. Its stars and writer talk grime, gentrification and Boris Johnsons Britain

chair

I told them I was on my way out to meet some singer called Drake, says writer Ronan Bennett, recalling the unlikely story of how he went out for dinner with the Canadian rapper and somehow managed to make himself seem less cool in front of his children. Drake was a fan of Top Boy, Bennetts Channel 4 drama about the lives of drug dealers and residents on a fictional Hackney estate called Summerhouse. He had been recommended it while on tour and loved it so much, he began posting stills from the show on Instagram with clumsy attempts at London slang (real bod man). When he found out it had been cancelled, he decided to bring it back by teaming up with Bennett and pitching it to Netflix.

The pair arranged a dinner in London to thrash out a plan much to the disbelief of Bennetts kids, who had to inform him he was about to meet one of the biggest pop stars on the planet. My children were like, Whaaaaat? he says. But honestly, I didnt know who he was.

Luckily for Bennett, Netflix and quite a few other people did. He was into the shows music, says Kane Robinson AKA Kano, the grime MC who starred in the original series as Sully, a duplicitous but driven dealer. It wasnt a shock that Drake liked it. What was more shocking was that when he posted about Top Boy, the reaction was mad. Youd wake up and have hundreds of messages.

He understands the culture and saw that [the show] needed to come back, adds Ashley Walters, who plays Dushane, the titular Top Boy who rises from low-level street dealer to potential East End kingpin. We were all on the same page it just happens that hes Drake.

Drake fronted a pitch to Netflix in LA and an hour later they had a deal. But Top Boy wasnt the easiest sell. Originally pitched to the BBC as a one-off TV film, the Beeb balked at the language and its stark gang-related subject matter, so Bennett shopped it to Channel 4, which commissioned it and greenlit a second season. The Independent called it Britains answer to The Wire, while Vice dedicated an oral history to the making of it. The show got a mixed reception from residents of Hackney when the Observer screened it to youth groups, but it was lauded by critics for its brutal portrayal of life in east London just after the 2011 riots.

Top
Top girl Letitia Wright in the original series. Photograph: Tristan Hopkins/Channel 4

Bennett cant remember the reason Channel 4 gave for cancelling, but it felt abrupt and left him shocked with a storyline for a third series that looked destined never to see the light of day. I didnt ever think it was going to come back, says Robinson. It looked like it was a non-starter.

But despite the cancellation, Top Boy didnt disappear completely. Both Robinson and Walters were asked about it incessantly as it began to find another audience, first on DVD and then on Netflix. It became a touchstone in the music world, with such grime acts as Skepta working references into his Mercury prize-winning album, Konnichiwa. It proved to be a hothouse of young black British talent: Michaela Coel had a bit-part in the original series, as did a pre-Black Panther Letitia Wright, who stood out as an ethically compromised young gang member. Other grime MCs, including Scorcher and Bashy, also featured before going on to get parts in films. In 2016, rumours that the show was coming back began circulating. Then, during his sold-out run at the O2 in London this April, Drake played a trailer confirming its return.

The UK has changed a lot since Top Boys debut in 2011, especially in the way gangs are viewed. The rise in knife crime has become part of the national conversation, with the media reporting on such concepts as county lines, in which drug gangs send young members to rural locations to drum up new trade. Drug dealers have never been more under the microscope, especially after 2018, when there were 135 homicides in London, 76 of them stabbings. So was there any hesitation in bringing back Sully and Dushane, dealers who manipulate young kids, murder rivals and use knives?

No, says Bennett without missing a beat. I think its important to bring it back in that context. Why? I consider myself a highly political person in everything I do, says the writer, who up until recently was the chair of his local Labour party. But I never beat the audience over the head with a message. However, I dont think anyone who watches Top Boy would fail to realise that the answer to the question Why is knife crime happening? is simple. Its poverty, exclusion and its racism. Thats why these kids feel completely outside the norms of a society that cold-shoulders them, that closes doors on them, that looks down on them, that despises them. And then its a spiral.

Theyre denied any kind of self-respect. Where are they going to find that respect? They need to feel good about themselves and they need to find that value somewhere. They create a different value system and its one that is deeply, deeply fucked up.

Walters
Belated return Walters and Robinson in the forthcoming third season. Photograph: Netflix/PA

Robinson and Walters think there is an urgent need to bring a gang drama to the screen, believing the new series will provide a vital window into a world that is still misunderstood. The medias attention [to gangs] is on another level, says Robinson. But who are we if were not talking about the current climate? What picture do people want us to paint? Its not a true story but there are a lot of truths within it.

Whoever is outside looking in, says Walters, should see this as correspondence. Youre getting the people who are down there at street level reporting to the rest of the world. Thats what I see Top Boy as, thats what I see Kanes music as. Its important for people to listen and take time to watch whats going on in these shows, especially the ones like Top Boy that are painting an accurate picture.

Poverty
Poverty has a smell. Its cheap, bad food. Its damp, unwashed clothes Ronan Bennett Photograph: Antonio Olmos

That picture isnt pretty. In the new series, which will launch on Netflix in the autumn, theres a glimpse of the harsh life inside British prisons, where disagreements from the street continue to fester. There are young men still children, really forced to look after their families and turn to drug-dealing to provide. An immigration story surfaces that has echoes of the Windrush scandal.

Top Boy has always been about showing the wider view of how societal pressures add to the chaos of street life. In the first two series, we see a salon owner and the manager of a chippy struggling to stay open as rents increase. A mother with mental health issues has to deal with her own problems and the needs of her son, who is perilously close to getting caught up in the drug game. For Bennett, thats all a way to paint a fuller picture of life in breadline Britain.

Until recently, wed go around canvassing [for Labour] and you could literally smell poverty, says Bennett. It has a smell. Its cheap, bad food. Its damp and unwashed clothes. When they open that door, you think, Would I like this life? No. Thats why this happens and thats what Top Boy shows.

Walters believes gentrification plays a part. I think its one of the reasons why a lot of knife crime is happening, he says. What were not talking about is how people are being displaced and how somewhere like Croydon has one of the highest knife crime rates because all the kids from Peckham, Brixton and the surrounding areas were being moved there which created war, essentially, because all the kids were being mixed up together.

Then there are middle-class drug users, who have been accused of fuelling the gang problem. A well-off couple appear in season three is that who Bennett is skewering? Ive seen the whole debate about middle-class drug use, says Bennett, who adds that he has never taken or bought drugs. That obviously happens. I guess thats something people have to confront, but for me the answer is decriminalisation. Nothing else works. Would that include all drugs? Yes. Im in favour of decriminalisation but with regulation. I would say to my kids, Please dont do this. I think its bad for your health and taking drugs is really risky. But this is the way to make it less risky.

Bennett points out that in the Shoreditch restaurant were sitting in, there are probably people who have bought or sold drugs that day. Are they fuelling knife crime? he asks, looking around. I guess. But in a bigger way, its the entire apparatus that weve built around the so-called war on drugs that is responsible.

Theres always been a bleak, nihilistic thread running through Top Boy, as young people without much hope struggle to simply get by. Can Bennett see things getting better in real life under a Boris Johnson government, with the hardline Priti Patel in the Home Office? No, not remotely. If you handpicked a bunch of characters in Britain that have less intelligence, less sympathy and less understanding of the kind of social and economic backgrounds that our characters come from, you could not do a worse job. There is no hope that they will have any understanding of what it would take to solve this problem. They are unbelievably out of touch.

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