As attorneys gave opening remarks at a trial centered on a Tesla buyout that never took place, Elon Musk was portrayed as either a fraud who callously endangered the savings of “ordinary people” or a well-intentioned visionary.
For the nine-person jury that will hear the three-week trial, attorneys for the opposing sides painted radically different pictures of Musk.
The billionaire sent two tweets on Twitter, which he now controls, in August 2018 that is the subject of the dispute.
The tweets claimed that Musk had secured the funding to take Tesla personally just when the company’s stock was tanking due to manufacturing issues.
The possibility of a $72 billion takeover sparked a stock price surge for the corporation, but it quickly stopped a week later when it became clear he lacked the resources to complete the transaction.
Then, Tesla shareholders sued him, claiming that if he hadn’t floated the notion of buying the firm for $420 per share, Tesla shares wouldn’t have fluctuated so much in value.
As Musk addressed the jury, Nicholas Porritt, the attorney defending Glen Littleton and other Tesla stockholders in the class-action lawsuit, immediately attacked Musk.
“What brings us here?
Porritt enquired. “Elon Musk, the chairman and chief executive of Tesla, lied, which is why we are here.
Regular individuals like Glen Littleton lost millions of dollars due to his lies.
The rise in Tesla’s stock following the tweet, according to Musk’s attorney Alex Spiro, was primarily due to investors’ confidence in Musk’s capacity to accomplish amazing feats, such as creating the most significant electric automobile in the world while also running SpaceX, a manufacturer of rocket ships.
“Mr. Musk aspires to accomplish feats that have never been performed.
That is common knowledge, Spiro informed the jury.
Spiro said Musk has already discussed taking Tesla private with officials from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
Spiro remarked on Musk’s August 7, 2018, tweet that was the trial’s pivotal statement, “He didn’t plan to tweet this.” The decision to be as open and honest about the negotiations with the Saudi fund regarding a prospective deal was made in a “split-second.”
Musk tweeted that the buyout’s finance was “secured” and that a transaction was about to be finalized.