A union leader advocating for more than 50,000 flight attendants is speaking out amid reports about Elon Musk's alleged settlement paid to an attendant for sexual misconduct
.According to Business Insider, "SpaceX, the aerospace firm founded by Musk, paid a flight attendant $250,000 to settle a sexual misconduct claim against Musk in 2018."
The news outlet also reported: "According to interviews and documents obtained by Insider, the flight attendant accused Musk of exposing his erect penis to her, rubbing her leg without consent, and offering to buy her a horse in exchange for an erotic massage."
On Friday, May 20, Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, weighed in with a critical response to the report. She said behavior like this is one of the driving forces behind flight attendants' decision to unionize nearly eight decades ago.
In Nelson's statement posted via Twitter, she said: "Flight attendants are not just another accessory on Musk's little rocket."
Nelson went on to offer her assessment of some of the more disturbing aspects of the damning report. She said: "The fact that he required flight attendants to become licensed masseuses on their own dime demonstrates what we see all too often — the super rich think they own everything and have to pay for nothing. This attitude is all too common to flight attendants and something all workers have had to deal with from day one."
Despite the incriminating report, Musk appears to be denying the claims. In an emailed statement to Insider, he reportedly described the report as a "politically motivated hit piece," also saying, "If I were inclined to engage in sexual harassment, this is unlikely to be the first time in my entire 30-year career that it comes to light."