A panel of nine prospective jurors in a lawsuit against Elon Musk does not seem to hold high opinions of the Tesla CEO, with some thinking he is narcissistic, to others blatantly stating that he is “off his rocker,” according to the BBC.
Opening arguments are slated to begin on Wednesday in the case where Musk is facing a hefty lawsuit by shareholders of his automotive company Tesla on the allegations that he had manipulated the firm’s share price after posting a series of tweets in August 2018.
Back then, Musk had tweeted “funding secured” to take Tesla private. He also went on to state that “investor support is confirmed,” and the deal was on the brink of a vote by shareholders. In light of the move, US regulators dethroned Musk as the chairman of Tesla.
Since then, investors have argued that they were defrauded by Musk’s tweet as share prices briefly rose but then collapsed soon after the truth broke out. Fast forward to now, prospective jurors have noted their opinions of Musk in a pre-trial questionnaire. “I think he’s a little off his rocker, on a personal level,” one possible juror wrote. “I truly believe you can’t judge a person until you walk in their shoes,” said another, who added that the billionaire seems “narcissistic.”
Musk garners mixed opinions from prospective jurors
A few others lauded him for his bold business moves. Musk has a “mercenary” personality as he is “willing to take risks… that’s my image of him,” said one person. One called him a “fast-rising business man”, and another said that he was a “smart, successful pioneer.”
When questioned by the judge if it meant she would not be biased towards Musk, the woman said: “A lot of people are not necessarily likable people…. sometimes I don’t like my husband.” Musk has argued that a fair trial would not be able to proceed in California, thus demanding it to be held in Texas. However, his request was rejected earlier on Friday. Going forward, if the jury rules in favour of the shareholders, Musk could be looking at paying billions of dollars in damages.
So far, he has already paid $20 million to US regulator Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the tweet.