The Thai girlfriend of the British cave rescue hero Elon Musk claimed was a paedophile has branded the allegations ‘laughable’.
Woranan Ratrawiphukkun, 40, who has been in a relationship with Vernon Unsworth, 63, for seven years and runs her own nail salon, today rubbished claims he married a 12-year-old child.
The Tesla CEO, 47, originally called Mr Unsworth a ‘pedo guy’ after he criticised the submarine he provided to save the 12 boys and their teacher from being crushed in a cave.
He then called him a child rapist, leaving Ms Ratrawiphukkun, who is known as Tik, furious.
She told Thai news website Coconuts: ‘The news about him being married to a 12-year-old child is laughable. As of now, everything will proceed according to the law.’
Woranan Ratrawiphukkun, 40 (left) has been in a relationship with British expat in Thailand (right) Vernon Unsworth for seven years
Tik, who shares a house with Unsworth in the countryside near Chiang Rai, added: ‘Vern is a kind person. He rarely has an argument with anyone, and everybody loves Vern.
‘We’ve spent our life together for seven years — he’s a good man and such a gentleman. He thinks of others before himself. I cannot comment further. I don’t have anything to say to him [Musk].
‘I know what kind of person Vern is. If he wasn’t a good man, we wouldn’t still be together after all these seven years.’
Asked about the possibility her partner would sue Musk for his comments, she told the website: ‘I have no details. I’ll have to wait until Vern gets here. If your husband was accused of this, would you sue?’
The 40-year-old partner of Mr Unsworth has slammed claims he is a paedophile and moved to Thailand to take a child bride
Elon Musk has reignited his attack on British cave diver Vernon Unsworth by making the unsubstantiated accusation that he moved to Thailand to take a child bride
The Tesla CEO and Mr Unsworth originally got into a row over Musk’s offer of a submarine to help free the 12 boys and their instructor trapped in the cave.
After the rescue Mr Unsworth accused Musk of a ‘PR stunt’ and told Musk to ‘stick his submarine where it hurts’, adding that the offer ‘had absolutely no chance of working’.
When the boys had been freed, Musk hit back by calling Unsworth a ‘pedo guy’.
He later apologized and deleted a series of tweets that alleged the 63-year-old was a pedophile, but he revived the claim again last week in yet another Twitter tirade in which he questioned why the diver hadn’t brought legal action.
Now the billionaire has made further allegations against Unsworth in a series of rambling emails he sent to Buzzfeed News last week.
Happy couple: Vernon Unsworth is pictured with his girlfriend of seven years, 40
Ms Ratrawiphukkun (left) is 40-years-old and runs her own nail salon in Thailand
Musk designed a child-sized submarine out of rocket parts that he hoped could be used to rescue some of the soccer players trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand
‘I suggest that you call people you know in Thailand, find out what’s actually going on and stop defending child rapists, you f****** a**hole,’ Musk’s email read.
‘He’s an old, single white guy from England who’s been traveling to or living in Thailand for 30 to 40 years, mostly Pattaya Beach, until moving to Chiang Rai for a child bride who was about 12 years old at the time.’
Musk added: ‘I f****** hope he sues me.’
Unsworth’s attorney denied the most recent allegations made by Musk.
Musk’s dispute with Unsworth began back in July when the Thai children were all safely retrieved from the cave where they had been trapped for days.
Unsworth had publicly criticized Musk’s offer to build a child-sized mini submarine to help free the trapped children.
Elon Musk’s Twitter tirade in which he reignited the row with Vernon Unsworth
The diver, who splits his time between the UK and Thailand, had told Musk to ‘stick his submarine where it hurts’, adding that the offer was a ‘PR stunt’ that ‘had absolutely no chance of working’.
Musk then hit back in a bizarre series of tweets in which he pledged to produce videos proving the sub would have worked.
‘Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it,’ he said of Unsworth.
The remarks created a furor and drew a backlash from Tesla’s board of directors.
Unsworth said at the time that he would weigh his legal options when he was back in the UK.
His mother, Vera, told MailOnline that Musk ‘should be shot’ for what he said about her son, adding: ‘He wants his mouth taped up. I don’t know if Veron will seek legal recourse, if he has any sense he will.’
Musk issued an apology on July 18 at the urging of the Tesla board.
‘My words were spoken in anger after Mr Unsworth said several untruths & suggested I engage in a sexual act with the mini-sub, which had been built as an act of kindness & according to specifications from the dive team leader,’ Musk said.
‘Nonetheless, his actions against me do not justify my actions against him, and for that I apologize to Mr Unsworth and to the companies I represent as leader. The fault is mine and mine alone. I am truly sorry if I offended anyone.’
Musk’s dispute with Unsworth began back in July after the diver publicly criticized the Tesla CEO’s offer to build a child-sized mini submarine to help free the trapped children
The diver had told Musk to ‘stick his submarine where it hurts’, adding that the offer to help was a ‘PR stunt’ that ‘had absolutely no chance of working’. Pictured above is the rescue mission to save the Thai soccer team
The matter seemed to have been resolved following the apology – until the Tesla CEO reversed himself and revived the claim in a Twitter tirade last week.
‘You don’t think it’s strange he hasn’t sued me? He was offered free legal services,’ Musk wrote, responding to a tweet from a former TechCrunch writer criticizing the ‘pedo guy’ remark.’
Just last week, Unsworth’s mother Vera confirmed her son was taking legal action against Musk over his comments.
‘He’s consulted his lawyer this morning. That’s all he’s told me,’ she said from her Essex home.
‘I don’t know who his lawyers are or where they’re based. My son is in London on business at the moment but he’s asked me not to comment any further.’
The missing Thai schoolboys and their football coach were discovered by the two British divers
They gave a press conference after they were rescued and given medical treatment
Musk’s increasingly erratic behavior on Twitter – including an announcement he later retracted that Tesla would be taken private, causing trading in the company’s shares to be halted – led to a New York Times interview in which he confessed to be exhausted from constant work.
Mr Unsworth was hailed as a ‘magician’ after he, after two other British divers Rick Stanton and John Volanthe, managed to get the boys out of the cave when Thai authorities failed.
Close friend Chaiyon Srisamut told MailOnline: ‘The Thai Navy Seals went into the cave but they could not see anything because the water is so muddy so they came back.
‘Vern told me he knew some English guys who could definitely help. They are his friends and they had been here at the cave a couple of weeks before.
‘The funny thing is that at first the authorities didn’t want to pay attention to him. They didn’t trust him and the governor did not want foreigners to be out at risk.
‘But Vern convinced them and now they consider him as some kind of magician.’