Elon Musk gave a rare interview to an actual reporter late on Tuesday, speaking to BBC reporter James Clayton on Twitter Spaces. During the interview, Clayton pressed Musk on whether his purchase of Twitter was, in the end, something he went through with willingly, or whether it was something he did because the active court case at the time in which Twitter was trying to force him to go through with the sale was going badly.
The answer (which we all suspected anyway) was that Musk did indeed only do the deal because he believed legally, he was going to be forced to do so anyway. Here’s the relevant transcript from the Twitter Spaces audio:
Clayton: So then you change your mind again, and decided to buy it – did you do that? Did you do that?
Musk: Well, I kind of had to.
Clayton: Right. Did you do that, because you thought that a court would make you do that?
Musk: Yes, that is the reason.
Clayton: So you were still trying to get out of it. And then you just were advised by lawyers, “Look, you’re going to buy this?”
In case you don’t recall (it was all the way back in September/October last year which is basically an eternity ago in current Twitter time), Twitter took Musk to trial to force him to honor his signed obligation to acquire the company for the agreed-upon price of $44 billion, or $54.20 per share. Musk was contending that his obligation was void because Twitter had, he claimed, inflated its real user numbers and understated the number of bots on the platform.
Musk then notified the SEC that he intended to buy the company after all at the price he originally set with the company, a move most agreed at the time was made because his legal case was weak and the trial was clearly not going his way.