Elon Musk says he ‘hates’ running Tesla as he defends $ 2.6 billion SolarCity deal in court
“I think you are a bad human being”
Founded in 2006, SolarCity was run by Mr. Musk’s cousins Lyndon and Peter Rive, and sold solar panels to users for free in advance on the basis of a long-term payback program.
At one point, it was the largest consumer solar panel installer in the United States, but as of 2016, it was in debt of over $ 3 billion. Since the purchase of SolarCity and its name change to Tesla Energy, solar power sales have not taken off.
Mr Musk previously wrote that combining Tesla and SolarCity was part of his “master plan” for the electric car maker.
Now shareholders are asking that what Tesla paid for the company to be reimbursed by its CEO. Mr. Musk could have to make one of an individual’s largest payments if he loses the case.
Mr. Musk used his appearance in court to address combative responses to Randy Baron, the plaintiffs’ attorney, calling his questions “sensitive and misleading”.
In a 2019 statement, he called Mr. Baron a “shameful person” and accused him of attacking renewable energy, adding: “You only think about money? What is your purpose in life ? “
On Monday, he justified the comments by saying Mr Baron had previously worked at a law firm whose partners had been jailed for paying bribes to clients. “I think you are a bad human being,” he said.
Last year, Tesla directors settled allegations in the same case for $ 60 million, without admitting to wrongdoing.
The trial is to continue for two weeks.