Elon Musk has been named in a lawsuit filed by six former Twitter employees who alleged that he stated Twitter would only pay rent for its offices "over his dead body" during a 4 a.m. conversation with an investor, reported Business Insider. The lawsuit, filed against Musk and X. Corp, Twitter's holding company, in the District Court of Delaware on Tuesday, accuses the defendants of violating 14 counts, including fraud, labour-rights laws, and breach of contract. This legal action comes as Twitter faces lawsuits from its landlords in London, New York City, and San Francisco for alleged failure to pay rent. The newly filed lawsuit provides further insight into internal discussions surrounding the rent situation.
According to the lawsuit, Joseph Killian, one of the plaintiffs who worked at Twitter for 12 years and oversaw office design, was aware that Musk had decided in December to stop paying rent for Twitter. This information was allegedly conveyed to Killian by Pablo Mendoza, a venture capitalist who had invested with Musk and was involved in implementing Musk's Twitter 2.0 vision. The lawsuit claims that Killian tried to persuade Musk, through Mendoza, of the impracticality of the decision, highlighting that renegotiating Twitter's lease terms would likely fail. In response, the lawsuit states that Mendoza said, "Elon told me he would only pay rent over his dead body," noting that the conversation took place at 4 a.m. on the same day.
Musk, who revealed that he typically sleeps around six hours a night, addressed the allegations during an interview with CNBC, where he also admitted to regretting tweeting after 3 a.m. In defence of Twitter's non-payment of rent, Musk's attorney, Alex Spiro, allegedly stated that it was unreasonable for landlords to expect rent from Twitter due to San Francisco being described as a "shithole." Notably, Twitter's headquarters are located near San Francisco's Tenderloin district.
On Tuesday, Musk tweeted that downtown San Francisco resembled "a derelict zombie apocalypse." However, he clarified to CNBC that his employees were unable to work from home. Insider reached out to Twitter for comment, but the company responded with an automated message that did not address the inquiry.
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