Tesla CEO Elon Musk is disputing two particularly bizarre quotes in the new biography of him written by business journalist Ashlee Vance: that he once referred to himself as a “samurai,” and that he chided an employee for missing work due to the birth of his child. Musk called the childbirth quote “total BS” on Twitter, saying he supports pregnancy leave.

In Vance’s book, Musk comes across as an obsessive workaholic who thinks about electric cars and very little else (surprise). The Washington Post ran a list of the 22 most memorable quotes from Musk, including the two that he’s now disputing:

My mentality is that of a samurai. I would rather commit seppuku than fail.

And, more relevant to our interests, an anonymous Tesla employee who says he got this in an email after he missed a work event due to baby-having:

That is no excuse. I am extremely disappointed. You need to figure out where your priorities are. We’re changing the world and changing history, and you either commit or you don’t.

On Twitter, Musk said neither of those were true:

Responding to a Vox piece, he said it was because Vance’s book hadn’t been “independently fact-checked:”

A New York Times review of the book notes that it was written with Musk’s cooperation, although he didn’t get final approval over its contents. The samurai quote is hard to verify, but the childbirth conversation supposedly happened via email. If Vance got a copy of that email, now might be the time to show us. He hasn’t yet responded to Musk’s comments.

Image via AP.


Contact the author at anna.merlan@jezebel.com.

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