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'Elongate' Scandal Cost Elon Musk $10 Billion

The Tesla CEO saw $10 billion of his personal wealth evaporate following a report alleging he exposed his erect penis to a SpaceX flight attendant.

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A photo of Elon Musk making a funny face and hand gesture at an event.
SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk poses on the red carpet of the Axel Springer Award 2020 on December 01, 2020 in Berlin, Germany.
Photo: Britta Pedersen-Pool (Getty Images)

Tech’s most chaotic CEO saw about $10.6 billion of his personal wealth evaporate last Friday following a report on a settlement over alleged sexual misconduct, according to estimates from the Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index. Musk’s drop in wealth, spotted by Insider, was mainly due to the tanking of Tesla shares in the market. Though the world’s richest man seems to evade consequences for most of his actions, even he succumbs to some financial consequences of scandal.

On Friday, shares in the electric carmaker lost as much as 10.8% of their value at one point. By the close of the market, they were down 6.4%, roughly $10 billion. Tesla’s share price recovered slightly on Monday by about 1%, as of 2 p.m. ET.


The report of the $250,000 settlement, published Thursday, revealed that a SpaceX flight attendant alleged that in 2016 Musk exposed his erect penis to her after she gave him a massage, propositioned her for sex by saying “do more,” and said he would buy her a horse if she did. Musk has denied the report’s claims and even joked about them, christening the scandal “Elongate.”

All in all, Tesla had a pretty rough week, having been plagued not only by its CEO’s erratic and trash-talking tweets, but also by outside forces. Shares in Tesla had been on the decline as investors worried that Musk’s attention, already divided between multiple enormous companies, would be diverted as he manages a rapidly spiraling $44 billion takeover of Twitter. In recent days, Musk called the S&P 500’s environmental, social, and government rating, known as ESG, “a scam,” after Tesla lost its top spot and announced he would now vote for Republicans. In addition, Musk said Tesla was creating a “hardcore litigation department” reporting directly to him.


“Looking for hardcore streetfighters, not white-shoe lawyers like Perkins or Cooley who thrive on corruption,” Musk tweeted on Friday. “There will be blood.”

As if that weren’t enough, a new documentary from the New York Times on Tesla’s Autopilot system premiered on Friday, too. Titled Elon Musk’s Crash Course, the film analyzes how Musk responded to accidents involving his carmaker’s Autopilot system.

So far this year, Musk has lost more than $69 billion from his personal treasure chest, according to the Billionaires Index. In fact, he’s lost $49 billion since he announced his bid to buy Twitter, which no one is quite sure he wants anymore.

The Elon Musk Twitter Saga, Part 1 of Who Knows?
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Despite this roller coaster ride, Musk still remains the richest man on Earth, with an estimated $201 billion net worth.