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NEW YORK: Billionaire Elon Musk has denounced as “utterly untrue” claims in a news report that he sexually harassed a flight attendant on a private jet in 2016. Business Insider reported on Thursday that Musk’s SpaceX paid $250,000 in 2018 to settle a sexual harassment claim from an unnamed private jet flight attendant who accused Musk of exposing himself to her.

The article quoted an anonymous person who said she was a friend of the flight attendant. The friend had provided a statement as part of the private settlement process, according to the article.

“I have a challenge to this liar who claims their friend saw me ‘exposed’ – describe just one thing, anything at all (scars, tattoos, …) that isn’t known by the public. She won’t be able to do so, because it never happened,” Musk tweeted late on Thursday. Reuters was not able to verify the Business Insider account. Musk and SpaceX did not respond to Reuters requests for comment on the Business Insider story or on Musk’s tweets.

In a statement to Reuters on Friday, Business Insider said: “We stand by our story which is based on documents and interviews and which speaks for itself.” Business Insider quoted the friend of the flight attendant as saying that in addition to allegedly exposing himself, Musk rubbed the flight attendant’s thigh and offered to buy her a horse if she would “do more” during an in-flight massage.

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