Elon Musk compared himself to rapper Eminem on Tuesday as he sought to reject his 2018 deal with the top U.S. securities regulator requiring Tesla’s chief executive to get pre-clearance for his tweets.
In a filing in federal court in Manhattan, Musk also renewed his efforts to quash a subpoena from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over whether he and Tesla are complying with their disclosure requirements under the executive order. of consent of 2018.
The SEC is investigating Musk’s November 6, 2021 tweet asking his followers if he should sell 10% of his stake in Tesla, to cover stock option tax bills. He has since sold about $16.4 billion of his shares in the EV company.
In Tuesday’s filing, Musk said asking Tesla’s attorneys to verify some of his tweets was an unconstitutional prior restraint on his speech, violating the First Amendment.
“The (SEC) won’t let me be or let me be me, so let me see; they tried to stop me,” Musk said, quoting Eminem’s 2002 song “Without Me.”
Eminem’s lyrics referenced the Federal Communications Commission, which had fined radio stations playing “The Real Slim Shady”, a song by Eminem whose content was deemed offensive.
Musk also said the SEC issued his subpoena in bad faith and could not pursue a “fishing expedition” to harass him.
The SEC declined to comment.
He said Musk wasn’t immune to scrutiny for his Tesla-related tweets and shouldn’t be exempt from the 2018 deal because he found compliance “less practical than he thought it would be.” had hoped”.
That deal stemmed from Musk’s Aug. 7, 2018 tweet that he had “secured funding” to potentially take Tesla private. Musk said Tuesday the tweet was truthful.
The case is overseen by U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan. Last week, she won US Senate approval to become a federal appellate judge and could continue to preside over her existing cases.