If Elon Musk had smoked weed in high school and didn’t try so hard around women, then maybe Securities and Exchange Commission wouldn’t be suing him for fraud.
In a Thursday filing, the SEC accused the Tesla founder and CEO of making misleading statements about Tesla’s finances. The feds said Musk had falsely suggested in an August tweet that he had secured the funding to take his company private when its stock hit $420 per share. Tesla did not even have discussions about funding, let alone the money, the SEC alleges. Instead, Musk allegedly cited the $420 figure to impress his then-girlfriend, electro-pop musician Grimes, who had recently taught him about the number’s significance in marijuana culture.
Grimes’ role came to light last month after she feuded with the rapper Azealia Banks, who leaked Grimes’ texts about Musk’s bizarre behavior at an ill-fated mansion hangout.
“Am considering taking Tesla private at $420,” Musk tweeted on August 7. “Funding secured.”
420 is a weed culture in-joke about the time of day to smoke, 4:20.
Musk, 47, is apparently new to marijuana. He “got into weed cuz of me,” Grimes texted Banks last month, according to screenshots the rapper leaked. Musk is “super entertained by 420,” Grimes continued. Musk made headlines earlier this month for smoking a joint on a podcast, taking uncomfortable puffs of smoke and grimacing on camera.
Banks portrayed Musk as an out-of-control drug novice in a long Instagram story last month. Banks claimed she had flown to California for a music collaboration with Grimes.
“I waited around all weekend while grimes coddled her boyfriend for being too stupid to know not to go on twitter while on acid,” Banks wrote, adding that she was staying with the couple. “They invited me here to stay and told me I couldn’t bring my boyfriend … it was probably some weird threesome sex shit to begin with.”
Banks went on to accuse Musk of begging investors for money on the phone while she was there. Grimes and Banks later exchanged texts in attempt to repair their relationship. Banks leaked those texts which included one predicting Musk’s forthcoming SEC trouble.
“He just got into weed cuz of me and he’s super entertained by 420 so when he decided to take the stock private he calculated it was worth 419$ so he rounded up to 420 for a laugh and now the sec is investigating him for fraud,” Grimes texted Banks, according to the leaked texts. “cool! well that bodes well.”
The SEC reached a similar conclusion in its Thursday complaint against Musk.
“Musk stated that he rounded the price up to $420 because he had recently learned about the number's significance in marijuana culture and thought his girlfriend ‘would find it funny, which admittedly is not a great reason to pick a price.’”
For all Musk’s attempts to impress Grimes, it’s not clear the pair are still dating. They unfollowed each other on social media last month, spurring speculation that they had broken up.
Banks, meanwhile, has suggested that she and Grimes collaborate on music about Musk’s SEC investigation.
“Grimes and I need to finish our song and make the soundtrack to this investigation,” the rapper told Business Insider. “Music is powerful and the songs we started on were clutch.”