THE Brit Thai cave hero branded a "paedo guy" by Elon Musk could face massive legal costs after losing his defamation case against the billionaire.
Vernon Unsworth said he has taken the court battle loss “on the chin” and will “just have to get on with life” but the repercussions for the 64-year-old may not be over yet.
It still hasn't been determined whether Vern will have to pay the Tesla boss's costs following the ruling.
The extent of the billionaire’s legal fees are unknown but could run potentially run well into six figures and Unsworth has not revealed whether or not he took out insurance against the costs of defeat.
Under California law the judge is free to make Unsworth pay all of the Space X founder’s costs but could also rule that Musk has to pay his own after both sides submit documents to the court.
Musk was found not liable in a defamation case involving a British cave explorer he called him a "paedo guy" on Twitter.
The decision on costs will not be decided for some time as both sides have to calculate their costs and submit them to the judge, who will then hold a hearing at a date he has yet to decide.
£144MILLION DAMAGES CLAIM
The case stemmed from the pair's very public squabble last year when Mr Unsworth was part of an international team working to save a youth football team and their coach from a flooded cave network.
The tech boss said he was building a mini-submarine to guide the boys to safety - but the rescuer told CNN the scheme had "absolutely no chance of working" and said Musk and his team had been asked to leave.
The caving expert, from St Albans, Herts, fought back tears at court this week as he said being branded a paedophile was "a life sentence without parole".
His voice cracking with emotion, he said: "It feels very raw. I feel humiliated, shamed, dirtied."
But A US District Court jury in Los Angeles on Friday found in favour of the Tesla Inc boss in the defamation lawsuit.
The verdict was delivered on the fourth day of the trial a short time after the case was handed to the jury of five women and three men.
Following the court victory, Musk told The Mail: "My faith in humanity is restored."
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Unsworth was seeking £144million damages against Musk, who during the trial estimated his net worth at £15billion.
Musk deleted the "pedo guy" tweet after a backlash from the public and pressure from investors as his company's stock dipped.
But he later labelled the cave diver a "child rapist" in a rambling email to a reporter which he claims he thought was off the record.