On Friday, a jury reached a verdict that Elon Musk did not defraud investors with his tweets in 2018 regarding a proposed deal for electric automaker Tesla.
Despite concerns about the billionaire potentially misleading investors, the verdict was reached after only two hours of deliberation by the nine-member jury, following a three-week trial. This decision serves as a significant vindication for Musk, who spent eight hours on the witness stand defending the intention behind his tweets at the heart of the trial.
Elon Musk was not present during the reading of the verdict. However, he made a surprise appearance earlier in the day during the closing arguments, which painted contrasting images of him. After the verdict was announced, Musk took to his Twitter account to express his gratitude.
He wrote, "Thank goodness, the wisdom of the people has prevailed!" This statement highlights the significant influence that Musk holds over the platform.
During roughly eight hours on the stand earlier in the trial, Musk insisted he believed he had lined up the funds from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund to take Tesla private after eight years as a publicly held company.
He defended his initial August 2018 tweet as well-intentioned and aimed at ensuring all Tesla investors knew the automaker might be on its way to ending its run as a publicly held company.
“I had no ill motive,” Musk testified. “My intent was to do the right thing for all shareholders.”