Elon Musk denied all charges against him in his testimony in Delaware courtroom. He also dropped a few controversial statements in the process. Musk said he "definitely" does not control the Tesla company's board during the SolarCity deal.
Musk also emphasized that Tesla would die if he does not work as its CEO.
Earlier reports revealed that Musk is facing trial for the controversial SolarCity acquisition. Dressed in a conservative black suit and black tie, Musk began his testimony on Monday (July 12, 9:20 AM ET). The whole trial is scheduled to last two weeks.
Tesla shareholders claim Musk used the company to rescue SolarCity with its financial problems. Dating back in 2016, SolarCity struggled with its financial status as solar technology had grown cheaper, new competition rose, and investors lost their interest to support the company.
Bloomberg reported that in June 2016, Elon--as one of the largest shareholders for both Tesla and SolarCity--later made a shocking announcement. He said Tesla would acquire SolarCity in a deal he referred to as a "no brainer."
Complete Details of Elon Musk'sTestimony
Elon Musk made three notable remarks during his testimony in court. CNBC reported the specific quotes given during his testimony.
Musk said, "I have absolute faith that Solar City would have been able to raise money independently." He repeatedly emphasized that SolarCity could have raised capital even without Tesla's help. The acquisition was not used to resolve the SolarCity issue but was meant to accelerate Tesla's advent for sustainable energy.
"I tried very hard not to be the CEO of Tesla, but I had to, or it would die." Musk said, adding that he hated being a company boss. Instead, he was committed to being an engineer. He contributed to Tesla with his ideas, and not because he had control over the Tesla shareholders.
"I have great respect for the court, but not for you, sir." Musk said, as he also got into an argument with Randy Baron, the attorney for the Tesla shareholders suing the billionaire. Baron showed clips of Musk's deposition in 2019, pointing out that the CEO is known as a demanding and exacting boss. Musk denied "rage firing" company workers and said he gives "clear and frank feedback which may be construed as derision."
Elon Musk's Conflict of Interest in Lawsuit vs. Tesla Shareholders
The court adjourned at 4:45 PM ET. Musk is expected to resume his testimony by July 13. The court meeting is kept exclusive, so updates only came out after it ended. There is no live stream available for the court.
It is undetermined who has a better advantage in this trial. Musk brought out good arguments, but the Tesla shareholders' representatives have not yet made their response in court.
There will be undoubtedly more changes expected to happen in these next few days. Keep an eye out for Elon's Twitter account for real-time updates of his status.