Detroit — A group of Tesla shareholders suing CEO Elon Musk over some 2018 tweets about taking the company private is asking a federal judge to order Musk to stop commenting on the case.

Lawyers for stockholders of the Austin, Texas-based company also say in court documents that the judge in the case has ruled that Musk’s tweets about having “funding secured” to take Tesla private were false, and that his comments also violate a 2018 court settlement with U.S. securities regulators in which Musk and Tesla each agreed to pay $20 million fines.

Musk, during an interview Thursday at the TED 2022 conference, said he had the funding to take Tesla private in 2018. He called the Securities and Exchange Commission a profane name and said he only settled because bankers told him they would stop providing capital if he didn’t, and Tesla would go bankrupt.

Elon Musk

The interview and court action came just days after Musk, the world’s richest person, made a controversial offer to take over Twitter and turn it into a private company with a $43 billion offer that equals $54.20 per share. Twitter’s board on Friday adopted a “poison pill” strategy that would make it prohibitively expensive for Musk to buy the shares.

In court documents filed Friday, lawyers for the Tesla shareholders alleged that Musk is trying to influence potential jurors in the lawsuit. They contend that Musk’s 2018 tweets about having the money to take Tesla private at $420 per share were written to maniuplate the stock price, costing shareholders money.



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