Lawyer: "Being defamed by someone as famous as Musk was an utterly terrifying experience."
A major theme of Walter Isaacson's new biography of Elon Musk is that he's increasingly turned toward conspiracy theories that threaten to undermine his legacy, from antisemitic fearmongering about George Soros to unfounded claims that Washington Post reporter Taylor Lorenz is the niece of the Internet Archive founder.
Critics have castigated him for promoting tin foil hattery, but to no avail. Now, though, the same lawyer who famously took down Alex Jones of InfoWars in a nearly $50 million defamation lawsuit now has his sights trained on Musk for promoting another deranged Internet rumor on X, the site he bought and renamed from Twitter.
Attorney Mark Bankston announced — on X, of course — a defamation lawsuit against Musk that accuses him of amplifying a false conspiracy theory on X that Ben Brody, a Jewish college graduate, was actually a federal agent cosplaying as a Neo-Nazi.
Musk also alleged without evidence that Brody was involved in a false flag operation during a brawl between two right-wing groups earlier this year, as laid out in damning detail in the lawsuit. Brody and his family say they had to flee their home due to the false allegations.
"Musk’s endorsement of the accusation galvanized other social media users and influencers to continue their attacks and harassment," said Bankston.
Brody is now seeking more than $1 million in damages.
"Being defamed by someone as famous as Musk was an utterly terrifying experience," Bankston said.
No word yet from Musk on this latest complaint, which is among many he is facing as X CEO, perhaps most prominently from disgruntled former employees.
Musk has dismissed criticism of his actions on X, saying in a CNBC interview in May that "I’ll say what I want to say, and if the consequence of doing that is losing money, so be it."
But Bankston, his latest adversary, is a proven giant killer with a litigation record that speaks for itself. His victory against Jones on behalf of Sandy Hook victims was a shock, because Jones operated for so long with seemingly little impunity.
Will Musk join Jones above Bankston's fireplace mantle once the dust settles? The jury is out.
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