Elon Musk gave a rare interview to an actual reporter late on Tuesday, speaking to BBC reporter James Clayton on Twitter Spaces. During the interview, Clayton pressed Musk on whether his purchase of Twitter was, in the end, something he went through with willingly, or whether it was something he did because the active court case at the time in which Twitter was trying to force him to go through with the sale was going badly.
The answer (which we all suspected anyway) was that Musk did indeed only do the deal because he believed legally, he was going to be forced to do so anyway. Here’s the relevant transcript from the Twitter Spaces audio:
Clayton: So then you change your mind again, and decided to buy it – did you do that? Did you do that?
Musk: Well, I kind of had to.
Clayton: Right. Did you do that, because you thought that a court would make you do that?
Musk: Yes, that is the reason.
Clayton: So you were still trying to get out of it. And then you just were advised by lawyers, “Look, you’re going to buy this?”
Twitter sued Musk in September/October last year to force him to buy the company for $44 billion, or $54.20 per share. Musk claimed that Twitter had inflated real user numbers and understated bot numbers, nullifying his obligation.
Musk then informed the SEC that he would buy the company at the price he originally set, a move most agreed was made because his legal case was weak and the trial was clearly going against him.