(CNBC) Tesla CEO Elon Musk is headed to court to answer a defamation lawsuit filed by a British rescue diver he called a “pedo guy.”
U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson in Los Angeles denied Musk’s request to throw out the case, according to court documents made public Tuesday. Wilson ordered the jury trial to begin Dec. 3.
Attorneys for rescue diver Vernon Unsworth didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Musk’s attorney, Alex Spiro, said in a statement: “We look forward to the trial.”
In a court deposition released in September, Musk said he worried Unsworth might be “another Jeffrey Epstein.” The documents also showed Musk’s representatives spent tens of thousands of dollars on a private investigator to dig up details on Unsworth.
The Unsworth case is one of several legal actions faced by Tesla and its mercurial CEO in the last few years. The company is also fighting a lawsuit from shareholders upset over its acquisition of SolarCity in 2016, and recently settled a suit with Walmart after Tesla solar panels on several stores caught fire.