SpaceX President Gwen Shotwell has defended Elon Musk for sexual misconduct

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk attends a post-launch news conference inside the Press Site Auditorium at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 30, 2020, following the launch of the agency’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station.

NASA / Kim Shifflet

Gwen Shotwell, president and CEO of SpaceX, defended Elon Musk in an email to staff last week in response to allegations of sexual misconduct directed by CEO, CNBC has learned.

“Personally, I believe the allegations are false; not because I work for Elon, but because I have worked closely with him for 20 years and have not seen or heard anything similar to these allegations,” Shotwell wrote in a company-wide email Friday and CNBC. Viewed by

Musk has denied the allegations, claiming he offered a flight attendant on a private SpaceX jet in 2016. Musk told Business Insider – which reported the allegations and also that the flight attendant was paid $ 250,000 after confronting the company – that there was “much more to this story,” describing it as a “politically motivated hit piece”. Christopher Cardasi, the legal vice president of Musk or SpaceX, did not deny the payment to Business Insider in a statement.

Shotwell insisted in his email that he would not comment on any legal issues related to employment issues, before Musk publicly denied the allegations in a tweet as “completely untrue”.

Shotwell, SpaceX’s second-in-command and the company’s top female executive, also noted that SpaceX has a “zero tolerance” policy for harassment, adding that every allegation is taken seriously and investigated, regardless of who is involved. ”

SpaceX did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on Shotwell’s email.

Nguyen Shotwell, President and COO of SpaceX

J. Westcott / NASA

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