Grimes and Azealia Banks May Testify in Elon Musk Lawsuit Over His 420 Tweet
Elon Musk’s ex-girlfriend Grimes and rapper Azealia Banks may testify in a lawsuit brought by Tesla investors against Musk—a lawsuit sparked by the billionaire’s August tweet, wherein he declared his intention to privatize Tesla at a price of $420 per share. This delicious sentence is brought to you by Banks’ extensive reporting last year on her failed attempts to record music with Grimes, during which the rapper shared a screenshot of an alleged message from the indie singer that stated Musk chose the $420 price because Grimes got him into marijuana jokes and “he’s super entertained by 420.” Because it’s the weed number.
As previously reported, Musk is in this mess because his tweet, which also claimed that funding to take Tesla private was “secured,” potentially constitutes fraud. Musk had not, in fact, secured said funding, and was therefore misleading investors, the Securities and Exchange Commission argued. The suit seeks to bar Musk from serving as C.E.O. of any publicly traded company. (Musk stepped down as Tesla’s C.E.O. after the suit was filed but remains the company’s chairman.)
Musk tried to explain his conspicuous choice of number in an interview last August with The New York Times. He said he chose $420 because he wanted to value Tesla about 20 percent higher than where the company’s stock was then trading, a calculation that would have put the price at $419 per share. “It seemed like better karma at $420 than at $419,” he said. “But I was not on weed, to be clear.”
Tesla investors apparently believe Grimes and/or Banks may be able to verify that claim and otherwise shed light on Musk’s state of mind when he hit publish. (Banks also claimed that while visiting Musk’s home she saw him “tweeting on acid.” She later apologized.) Shareholders have reportedly expressed interest in subpoenaing both artists, as well as newspapers and blogs that reported on the events surrounding the tweet. Whether we’ll actually be treated to these two beloved weirdos testifying in a high-profile securities fraud case remains to be seen. Bloomberg reports today that Musk’s attorney is arguing against the potential subpoenas, writing in a filing, “It is readily apparent that this is more of an effort to sensationalize these proceedings than a legitimate attempt to preserve evidence.”
Ideally this saga never ends.
Correction: A previous version of this post claimed Grimes and Banks might be subpoenaed in a lawsuit filed by the SEC. The subpoenas were requested in a separate lawsuit bought by Tesla investors.