- Elon Musk was cleared Friday by a federal jury over his “funding secured” 2018 tweet to take Tesla private.
- Following the decision, the billionaire’s first words on Twitter were: “Thank goodness.”
- He added that he was “deeply appreciative” of the jury’s decision to clear him.
Elon Musk showed his appreciation for the jurors who cleared him after Tesla investors claimed that his 2018 “funding secured” tweet was meant to intentionally influence investors.
“Thank goodness” the billionaire tweeted late Friday night following the decision by a federal jury of nine individuals within the civil trial.
“The wisdom of the people has prevailed!” the billionaire added. “I’m deeply appreciative of the jury’s unanimous finding of innocence within the Tesla 420 take-private case.”
Musk’s 2018 tweet, which pushed Tesla’s shareholders to launch the costly legal battle against him, read: “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.” The jurors were asked to determine whether Musk had purposely misguided investors, because the deal didn’t undergo.
Through the trial, Musk’s lawyers described a gathering the tech billionaire held with Yasir Al-Rumayyan, an official in Saudi Arabia’s Private Investment Fund, where Musk said Al-Rumayyan pledged to assist finance the deal to take Tesla private.
Musk told jurors in January that he trusted Al-Rumayyan’s verbal guarantees, which led to the “funding secured” tweet about taking Tesla private. The investors’ attorney, Nicholas Porritt of Levi & Korsinsky LLP, refuted Musk’s claims and argued that a conversation of that nature would have some written record.
Nonetheless, Musk’s attorney, Alex Spiro of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, said in closing arguments that the Tesla founder was being portrayed as a “fire-breathing dragon,” and that he couldn’t be prosecuted for being a “bad Tweeter.”
Musk and Spiro didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment from Insider, made outside normal working hours.