Six former Twitter employees have boldly taken Elon Musk and the company to court, igniting a flurry of controversy
This lawsuit, filed on Tuesday, unveils a startling revelation: during a secretive 4 a.m. conversation, Musk allegedly made a chilling declaration to an advisor, proclaiming that rent payments would only happen “over his dead body.”
The lawsuit exposes an eyebrow-raising defense strategy. Musk’s attorney has reportedly sought to justify the non-payment of rent by painting a vivid picture of San Francisco as a “shithole.”
In an intriguing legal battle, Elon Musk and X. Corp, Twitter’s holding company, are facing a lawsuit filed by six former Twitter employees. The lawsuit, presented in the District Court of Delaware, alleges that Twitter failed to provide severance pay to its staff and accuses the defendants of violating multiple counts, including fraud, labor-rights laws, and breach of contract.
What makes this lawsuit particularly compelling is the revelation of an early morning conversation between Elon Musk and an investor. According to the lawsuit, during a 4 a.m. discussion, Musk declared that Twitter would only pay rent for its offices “over his dead body.” The lawsuit adds that this statement was conveyed to Joseph Killian, one of the plaintiffs, by Pablo Mendoza, a venture capitalist with ties to Musk and involved in realizing the billionaire’s vision for Twitter 2.0.
Killian, a Twitter employee for 12 years and responsible for office design, apparently tried to persuade Musk, through Mendoza, of the risks associated with abandoning rent payments. The lawsuit claims that Killian emphasized the futility of renegotiating the terms of Twitter’s numerous leases. In response, Mendoza allegedly conveyed Musk’s adamant stance, stating, “Elon told me he would only pay rent over his dead body.” Remarkably, this conversation took place on the same day at the early morning hour of 4 a.m.
It’s worth noting Musk’s known sleeping habits, as he has previously stated that he sleeps about six hours a night. In a self-admitted mistake, Musk has also acknowledged tweeting after 3 a.m., telling the BBC, “I shot myself in the foot.” These details add an intriguing layer to the lawsuit’s narrative.
The lawsuit further claims that Musk’s attorney, Alex Spiro, expressed the view that it was unreasonable for Twitter’s landlords to expect rent payments because he deemed San Francisco a “shithole.” Notably, Twitter’s headquarters is located just minutes away from the city’s Tenderloin district.
Elon Musk, in a recent tweet, described downtown San Francisco as “a derelict zombie apocalypse.” However, in an interview with CNBC, he clarified that his employees could not work from home.
This legal battle sheds light on the internal conversations surrounding Twitter’s rent payment issues, raising questions about contractual obligations, labor rights, and the visionary ambitions of Elon Musk.