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Tesla CEO Elon Musk to Undergo Trial in Defamation Case

Musk had called British diver Vernon Unsworth a "paedo" in a July 15 post on Twitter.

Electric Vehicle (EV) maker Tesla CEO Elon Musk will undergo trial in October in a defamation case that was filed against him last year by a British cave rescuer who sued the billionaire for calling him a paedophile.

A federal court judge in Los Angeles set an October 22 trial date in a recent court filing that rejected Musk's attempt to dismiss the defamation lawsuit filed by the British diver Vernon Unsworth, The Telegraph reported on Saturday.

Musk had called Unsworth a "paedo" in a July 15 post on Twitter after Unsworth, in an interview with CNN, dismissed Musk's attempts to help rescue the soccer players as a "PR stunt".

The brief feud between the two ensued post the rescue of a soccer team that was trapped in a cave in Thailand.

Unsworth, who helped with the rescue operation, criticised Musk's dubious plan to save the team with a "kid-sized submarine."

Musk later doubled down on the insult by tweeting "bet ya a signed dollar it's true," then elaborated even further in emails to BuzzFeed -- flatly asserting that Unsworth had moved to Thailand "for a child bride who was about 12 years old at the time", The Verge reported.

The Tesla CEO had faced a widespread backlash after unsuccessfully attempting to assist the rescue mission and eventually apologised to Unsworth and deleted the offending tweet.