A day in the life of Elon Musk: A puerile '69' joke and being sued for $258 billion

Elon Musk
He's been accused by staff of being a "source of distraction and embarrassment". Photo credit: Getty Images

Another day, another Elon Musk story, right? But when the world's richest man behaves as he does, it's guaranteed to attract attention - particularly with his desire to own one of the world's largest and most influential social media platforms.

To that end, Musk spoke with Twitter employees for the first time earlier on Friday (NZ time).

After turning up late the bombastic billionaire then touched on a variety of subjects, from aliens, how only exceptional people should work from home, and his desire to reduce the number of employees.

But one line in particular stood out from Reuters' report about the meeting:

"When he turned off his video at the end of the Q&A, his avatar appeared to be two hands in the shape of the number 69, an apparent reference to a sex position, the source said."

It may well be a perfect summation of Musk. The man willing to spend US$44 billion on a company he's prepared to constantly criticise on that same platform uses an avatar that most people stopped finding funny after high school.

Musk turns 51 before the end of the month. It's not hard to understand why Twitter employees are apparently uneasy with the idea of the Tesla CEO taking over the company.

And they're not the only ones. According to website The Verge, employees of one of Musk's other companies, SpaceX, have written an open letter to executives which slammed his behaviour.

The letter, from employees "across the spectra of gender, ethnicity, seniority and technical roles" collaborated to write it, according to the leak.

"Elon's behaviour in the public sphere is a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment for us, particularly in recent weeks," it stated.

"As our CEO and most prominent spokesperson, Elon is seen as the face of SpaceX - every Tweet that Elon sends is a de facto public statement by the company.

"It is critical to make clear to our teams and to our potential talent pool that his messaging does not reflect our work, our mission, or our values."


The employees said the current culture of the organisation does not live up to its stated values. 

"Many employees continue to experience unequal enforcement of our oft-repeated 'No Asshole' and 'Zero Tolerance' policies," it continued. "This must change."

In a list of specific actions the employees wanted SpaceX to action, dealing with Musk was right at the top.

"Publicly address and condemn Elon's harmful Twitter behaviour," the employees wrote.

"SpaceX must swiftly and explicitly separate itself from Elon's personal brand."

Other actions alluded to ensuring everyone at SpaceX was treated the same, which appeared to be another dig at Musk.

"SpaceX must establish safe avenues for reporting and uphold clear repercussions for all unacceptable behaviour, whether from the CEO or an employee starting their first day," it continued.


As if that wasn't enough for one day, Musk was also sued for $258 billion by an investor of the Dogecoin cryptocurrency, accusing him of running a pyramid scheme to bolster its price.

Plaintiff Keith Johnson filed the complaint in federal court in Manhattan, saying Musk was racketeering by pushing Dogecoin only to let the price tumble once it had been driven up.

"Defendants were aware since 2019 that Dogecoin had no value yet promoted Dogecoin to profit from its trading," the complaint said.

"Musk used his pedestal as World's Richest man to operate and manipulate the Dogecoin Pyramid Scheme for profit, exposure and amusement."

Since Musk appeared on Saturday Night Live in May last year, the cryptocurrency has lost around US$86 billion in value.

On the show Musk performed a series of sketches that referenced Dogecoin, mostly in a negative way. He later referred to it as a "hustle".

That caused a real-time drop in value, with 20 percent wiped off in just an hour. It's now down 91 percent from its best price.

Investors were hoping Musk was going to take Dogecoin 'to the moon'. Unfortunately it crashed like one of his Tesla's approaching a stationary emergency vehicle.

Wait, that was YESTERDAY's story, not today's. What will tomorrow bring?

One thing for certain is that it'll make news, and that won't change in a hurry.