It sure seems like Elon Musk decided to become a Republican after uncovering a story about him allegedly exposing himself to a flight attendant that was going public.

Earlier this week, Elon Musk took to Twitter to make a series of announcements. “Political attacks against me will increase dramatically in the coming months,” she said. wrote early Wednesday afternoon. Later he informed his supporters: “In the past I voted for the Democrats, because they were (mostly) the party of goodness. But they have become the party of division and hate, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican. Now watch their dirty tricks campaign against me unfold…” A few hours after that, he tweeted emoji of a face with its tongue sticking out and a box of popcorn, i.e. the international symbol for “sit back and wait for the drama.”

Seen in isolation, these tweets didn’t seem all that strange: Musk has been attacking liberals for some time now, and it’s no surprise at all that a known troll would preemptively try to claim that any attacks on him are coming from his political enemies. But now, with the benefit of context, they make even more sense and make the richest man in the world look like a creep.

That context came Thursday night when Insider published a story reporting that SpaceX, the company Musk founded in 2002, paid a flight attendant $250,000 in 2018 to settle a sexual misconduct lawsuit against her. According to reporter Rich MacHugh, The assistant, who worked as part of the flight crew for SpaceX’s corporate jet fleet, accused Musk of “exposing his erect penis, rubbing his leg without consent, and offering to buy a horse in exchange for an erotic massage.” The incident allegedly occurred in 2016. Insider also spoke with a friend of the woman, who signed a statement corroborating the incident. The flight attendant reportedly told her friend that during a flight to London, Musk asked her to come to her room and give her a “full body massage.” Once there, the woman said, she found Musk “completely naked except for a sheet that covered the lower half of his body,” adding that he “exposed his genitals” during the massage and then “touched her and offered to buy her a horse.” if you wanted it.” she would ‘do more'” — meaning sexual acts. The friend told Insider that the flight attendant was “really upset” and “didn’t know what to do” after she recounted what had happened.

According to her friend’s statement, the woman “began to feel like she was receiving some sort of retaliation for her shifts being reduced,” eventually thinking she was “being kicked out and punished for refusing to prostitute herself.” In 2018, believing her rejection of Musk had left her with fewer opportunities at SpaceX, she hired an employment lawyer; According to Insider, the complaint “was quickly resolved after a mediator session that Musk personally attended,” and in November 2018, the flight attendant and the company “reached a severance agreement that awarded the flight attendant a payment of $250,000 in exchange for a promise not to sue over the claims.” The agreement contained “restrictive non-disclosure and non-disparagement clauses that prohibit [her] to discuss paying compensation or revealing any information of any kind about Musk and his businesses, including SpaceX and Tesla.”

Being a survivor of sexual assault, the friend felt it was important to share what she knew about Musk and decided to reveal the story without consulting the flight attendant, according to Insider. (The friend, unlike the flight attendant, is not subject to an NDA.) “I absolutely felt a responsibility to introduce it, especially now,” she told McHugh. “He is the richest man in the world. Someone with that level of power causing that kind of damage and then throwing some money at the situation, that’s not liability. There are predators all over the world. But when someone is particularly rich and powerful, they literally have systems that are like a machine that works for them, to set them up so they can do whatever they want.” She added that she believed remaining silent would make her an accessory. “When you choose to remain silent, yes, you become part of that system,” she said. “You become part of that machine that allows someone like Elon Musk to continue to do the horrible things that he has done.”

Contacted by Insider about the report, Musk asked for more time to respond, stating that there was “a lot more to this story.” He added, in what most people would probably agree is a bizarre way of denying accusations of sexual misconduct: “If I were inclined to engage in sexual harassment, this is unlikely to be the first time in my entire life. my next 30 year career. into the light.” He also insisted, obviously, that the story was a “politically motivated hit piece.” Within hours of being contacted by Insider for comment, according to Insider’s investigative editor. John Cook, Musk was tweeting about becoming a Republican and claiming that his decision to do so would result in “dirty tricks” from the left. All of which must have been extremely, extremely coincidental timing!

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