May 23, 2022 - Technology

SpaceX executive defends Elon Musk against sexual misconduct allegations

Elon Musk.

Elon Musk at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on May 22. Photo: Theo Wargo/WireImage

SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell defended Elon Musk after Business Insider reported last week that SpaceX paid $250,000 to settle sexual misconduct allegations against the billionaire, CNBC reports.

Driving the news: Insider reported a SpaceX flight attendant had alleged sexual misconduct against Musk, including that he exposed his erect penis to her and touched her inappropriately while aboard a private flight in 2016. SpaceX later settled with her for $250,000 in a deal that also barred her from discussing the payment or disclosing any information about Musk, according to Insider.

What she's saying: In an email to SpaceX employees last week, Shotwell said that SpaceX has "ZERO tolerance" for harassment before defending Musk.

  • "Personally, I believe the allegations to be false; not because I work for Elon, but because I have worked closely with him for 20 years and never seen nor heard anything resembling these allegations."
  • She also said the company's HR team investigates all claims and takes disciplinary action when warranted.
  • A spokesperson for SpaceX did not immediately return a request for comment.
Go deeper