A Tesla telenovela

Tesla’s  lawsuit against a former employee was filed just 24 hours ago and it’s already ripe fodder for Hollywood. As CEO Elon Musk has noted in the past, Tesla is a real drama magnet. Get ready, it’s exhausting.

Tesla filed the lawsuit against former employee Martin Tripp for $1 million, alleging the man, who worked as a process technician at the massive battery factory near Reno, hacked the company’s confidential and trade secret information and transferred that information to third parties, according to court documents. The lawsuit also claims the employee leaked false information to the media.

Within hours, The Washington Post had an interview with Tripp, who said he did not tamper with internal systems and is instead a whistleblower who was compelled to act. Tripp admitted to speaking to the media, but only because he saw “some really scary things” inside the company. Post reporter Drew Harwell later tweeted that Tripp told him Musk emailed him shortly after the lawsuit today to say he was a “horrible person.”

An email exchange obtained by TechCrunch, and confirmed by Tesla, suggests otherwise, and shows Tripp lobbing the first written attack. To be clear, the emails viewed by TechCrunch could have been edited or show an incomplete exchange. We’ll update the story as we learn more.

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