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SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell defends Elon Musk over sex misconduct allegations


Elon Musk, SpaceX’s CEO participates in a news conference after the launch of SpaceX Demo-2 to the International Space Station. This was held at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA/Kim Shiflett

Gwynne shotwell, SpaceX president and COO has defended Elon MuskCNBC learned this information last week in an email sent to employees responding to allegations of sexual misconduct directed at its CEO.

Shotwell said in an email to the company that Friday, and which was also seen by CNBC, “Personally, I believe these allegations to be false. Not because Elon is my boss, but because we have been working together for 20 years and I have never seen or heard anything resembling this allegation.”

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Musk has denied the allegationsAccording to Musk, he promoted a female flight attendant aboard one of SpaceX’s private planes in 2016. Musk told Business Insider – which reported the allegations and also that the flight attendant was paid $250,000 severance after confronting the company – that there is “a lot more to this story,” describing it as a “politically motivated hit piece.” Business Insider was not able to verify the claims of Musk or SpaceX’s vice President of Legal Christopher Cardaci.

Shotwell stressed in her email that “will not comment on any legal matter involving employment problems” and Musk later denied them publicly in a Twitter tweet.

Shotwell, SpaceX’s second in command, and also the company’s highest female executive, noted that SpaceX had a “ZERO tolerance” policy against harassment.

CNBC reached SpaceX for comments on Shotwell’s email but did not receive an immediate response.

Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s President and Chief Operating Officer

Jay Westcott / NASA