SAN FRANCISCO — Elon Musk returned to federal court Monday in San Francisco to testify in a class action lawsuit filed by Tesla investors alleging he misled them with a tweet.
The tweet, which resulted in a $40 million settlement with securities regulators, claimed he had lined up the financing to take Tesla private in a deal that never came close to happening.
The trial hinges on the question of whether a pair of tweets that Musk posted on Aug. 7, 2018, damaged Tesla shareholders during a 10-day period leading up to a Musk admission that the buyout he had envisioned wasn’t going to happen.
Musk, who said he “had trouble sleeping last night and unfortunately I am not at my best,” testified that it was important for jurors to know that he “felt that funding was secured” due to his ownership of “SpaceX stock alone.”
“Just as I sold stock in Tesla to buy Twitter. … I didn’t want to sell Tesla stock but I did sell Tesla stock,” he said of the stock sale to make up for the lack of funding from other sources for his $44 billion deal to take Twitter private.
“My SpaceX shares alone would have meant that funding was secured,” Musk said.