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SpaceX paid $250K settlement to worker who brought forth sexual misconduct claim against Musk

(Daniel Oberhaus/CC)

SpaceX, the aerospace company founded by Elon Musk, paid a flight attendant $250,000 to settle a sexual misconduct claim against Musk in 2018, according to a report by Insider.

The claim came from a flight attendant who worked as a cabin crew member on a contract basis for the company’s corporate jet fleet. Insider reports that she accused Musk of exposing his erect penis to her, rubbing her leg without consent and offering to buy her a horse in exchange for an erotic massage.

The alleged 2016 incident is described in a declaration signed by a friend of the worker and prepared in support of the claim.

The misconduct happened during a flight to London when Musk allegedly asked the attendant to come to his room for a full body massage. When she arrived, Musk was naked except for a sheet covering the lower half of his body. Later on, Musk touched her and said he’d buy her a horse if she would “do more,” Insider reports the declaration saying. She declined and continued the massage.

Shortly after, the friend says the attendant told her about it and was “visibly shaken.”

In 2018, the attendant reportedly felt that by declining Musk’s proposal, her opportunities at SpaceX were diminished.

She hired a California employment lawyer and sent a complaint to the company’s human resources department. The complaint was resolved after a mediator session when SpaceX, Musk and the attendant entered into a severance agreement where the attendant received $250,000 for promising not to sue over the claims.

It also included non-disclosure and non-disparagement clauses barring the attendant from discussing the payment or disclosing information about Musk and his businesses. The attendant declined to comment for Insider’s story.

Musk is currently in a bid to acquire Twitter. Today, he posted that Insider published the story to interfere with the deal.

SpaceX is headquartered in California and has key operations in South Texas with Starbase, a rocket production facility and test site.

The company has previously seen allegations of sexual harassment with four women speaking out in December last year. And at Tesla, where Musk is also CEO and recently celebrated the grand opening of Giga Texas in southeast Travis County, at least six women have sued the company, alleging sexual harassment.

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