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KUALA LUMPUR (May 20): SpaceX, the aerospace firm founded by Elon Musk, allegedly paid a flight attendant US$250,000 to settle a sexual misconduct claim against Musk in 2018.

In a report on Friday (May 20), German publishing house Axel Springer-owned Business Insider said the attendant worked as a member of the cabin crew on a contract basis for SpaceX's corporate jet fleet.

She accused Musk of exposing his erect penis to her, rubbing her leg without consent, and offering to buy her a horse in exchange for an erotic massage, the report cited interviews and documents it obtained.

Business Insider said the incident, which took place in 2016, is alleged in a declaration signed by a friend of the attendant and prepared in support of her claim.

According to the declaration, the attendant confided to the friend that after taking the flight attendant job, she was encouraged to get licensed as a masseuse so that she could give Musk massages.

It was during one such massage in a private cabin on Musk's Gulfstream G650ER, she told the friend that Musk propositioned her.

The publication said that after it contacted Musk for comment, he emailed to ask for more time to respond and said there is "a lot more to this story".

"If I were inclined to engage in sexual harassment, this is unlikely to be the first time in my entire 30-year career that it comes to light," he wrote, calling the story a "politically motivated hit piece".

Business Insider said it extended the deadline and reiterated the offer to Musk to comment on the claims, but he did not respond.

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