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- Elon Musk testified in a civil trial Monday that he wasn’t joking about taking Tesla private at $420 a share.
- He said the price was a roughly “20% premium” over Tesla stock when he tweeted about it in 2018.
- The “420” popular pot reference has been a theme for Musk, who bought Twitter at $54.20 a share.
Elon Musk denied before a jury on Monday that his infamous 2018 tweet about possibly taking Tesla private at a share price of $420 was a joke for the benefit of then-girlfriend Grimes.
But he does see significance in the number, which is popular in cannabis culture.
“There is some, I think, karma around 420,” he told Nicholas Porritt, an attorney at Levi & Korsinsky LLP who is representing Tesla investors in a civil class-action lawsuit over his tweet in August 2018, in which he’d claimed he had “funding secured” for a potential deal to take Tesla private.
“I should question whether that is good or bad karma at this point,” Musk added, doubling down on his reference to a concept in Hindu mythology about the consequences of actions in a past life.
He insisted however, that the number was not a joke, as financial regulators had alleged at the time. He testified on Monday that the number was a “coincidence,” saying it represented a roughly “20 percent premium” over Tesla’s stock at the time. The day of his tweet on Aug. 7, 2018, the company’s stock rose to $371.15.
“I don’t know if she found it funny or not,” Musk testified, referring to his girlfriend at the time, the musician Grimes. “But the 420 price was not a joke.”
Musk has shown his penchant for “420” marijuana references on other occasions, as the number was also built into the $54.20 share price at which he purchased Twitter last year. Musk had made it something of a brand, smoking weed in an appearance on the Joe Rogan podcast in 2018.