Grimes may testify in Elon Musk’s Tesla investor lawsuit, although the tech billionaire is fighting to keep her out of it. CNBC reports that Musk’s attorney argued in a motion filed Thursday that the proposed subpoena of Grimes, who was dating Musk in August when he tweeted that he was considering taking Tesla private at $420 a share, is just an attempt to “sensationalize these proceedings.”
This is the second suit Musk has faced over the tweet, which he allegedly made as a joke because he thought Grimes would find it funny. The Securities And Exchange Commission charged him with fraud for misleading investors in a case settled in September, resulting in $40 million in fines and forcing him to step down from his position as chairman of the board.
Now a group of Tesla investors is also suing Tesla and Musk over the tweet. In addition to Grimes, the plaintiffs are proposing subpoenas of Azealia Banks, who claimed in a series of Instagram posts while camped out at Elon Musk’s house that Grimes introduced him to weed and he was on acid at the time, and news outlets like Business Insider and The New York Times that interviewed Banks or Musk.
“Ms. Boucher and Ms. Banks were in close contact with Mr. Musk before and after the tweet at issue and are believed to be in possession of relevant evidence concerning Mr. Musk’s motives,” Eduard Korsinsky of Levi & Korsinsky, the firm representing the plaintiffs, told CNBC. “Granting the motion would allow the plaintiffs to preserve this evidence and help provide a fair opportunity to take discovery for all parties.”
“Plaintiffs did not bother to contact any of the five non-parties it intends to subpoena to find out if they even have any relevant information,” Musk’s attorney argued. “None of the third parties ever worked for Tesla or Mr. Musk, or is alleged to have had any involvement in his tweets or in his evaluation of a potential go-private transaction.”