The trial involving Elon Musk’s remarks regarding Tesla is the next big controversy.

Elon Musk, the troubled billionaire, is currently in court for a company he didn’t take private while still dealing with the consequences of one he did.

Musk had his sights set on Tesla, the electric carmaker where he continues to serve as CEO and from he draws the majority of his money and renown, long before he bought Twitter for $44 billion in October.

Musk asserted in a tweet on August 7, 2018, that he had secured the finance to pay for a $72 billion acquisition of Tesla, which he then emphasized in a subsequent statement that suggested a transaction was close at hand.

However, the buyout never happened, and Musk will now have to defend his actions in a federal court in San Francisco while being sworn in. The trial was sparked by a class-action complaint on behalf of investors who held Tesla stock for a 10-day period in August 2018. Jury selection for the trial will begin on Tuesday.

A week later, as it became clear that Musk lacked the financing for a buyout after all, the spike in Tesla’s stock price that had been sparked by his tweets at the time unexpectedly came to an end. Because of it, he abandoned his proposal to take the automobile private, which led to a $40 million settlement with American securities regulators and his removal as the chairman of the business.

Since then, Musk has claimed that he entered the deal under duress and that during conversations with officials from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, he believed he had secured funding for a takeover of Tesla.

The jury’s understanding of Musk’s motivation for tweets that U.S. District Judge Edward Chen has already determined were false might determine the trial’s conclusion.

When Chen turned down Musk’s request to move the trial to Texas, where Tesla will move its headquarters in 2021, Chen delivered Musk another setback. Musk has maintained that the San Francisco Bay Area jury pool had been tainted by negative coverage of his purchase of Twitter.

Tesla’s present owners are concerned that Musk has been spending less time managing the automaker at a time of escalating competition because of his leadership of Twitter, where he has decimated the staff and alienated consumers and advertisers. These worries influenced Tesla’s stock to decline by 65% in 2018, wiping out more than $700 billion in shareholder wealth, a much larger loss than the $14 billion swing in fortune between the company’s high and low stock prices during the period covered by the class-action lawsuit, which ran from August 7–17, 2018.

The basis of the complaint is the idea that Tesla’s shares wouldn’t have fluctuated so much if Musk hadn’t raised the possibility of buying the business for $420 per share. Since then, Tesla’s stock has split twice, making the $420 price now only worth $28 on an adjusted basis. The stock fell from its split-adjusted top of $414.50 in November 2021 to end last week at $122.40.

After Musk abandoned the idea of a Tesla takeover, the business addressed a production issue, leading to a sharp increase in car sales that sent its stock soaring and made Musk the richest man in the world until he acquired Twitter. Musk’s position at the top of the list of richest people declined as a result of the stock market’s reaction to his management of Twitter.

Given that the witness list for the trial includes some of Tesla’s current and former top executives and board members, including notables like Larry Ellison, the co-founder of Oracle, and James Murdoch, the son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, the trial is likely to shed light on Musk’s management style. The drama may also throw light on Musk’s relationship with his brother Kimbal, who is also on the list of potential witnesses who could be called during a trial that will go until February 1. Kimbal is also slated to testify during the trial.

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