Elon Musk’s private texts were included in new court filings on Thursday as part of the lawsuit brought by Twitter to make the billionaire buy the social media company. And whatever you think of Musk’s weird attempt to back out of the deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion, the texts provide a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse at 21st century dealmaking in the tech sector.
The texts, which were first published online by New York Times reporter Kate Conger, include exchanges Musk had with podcaster Joe Rogan, Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey, tech investor Jason Calacanis, and Oracle founder Larry Ellison, among plenty of others.
Some of the texts are just friendly jokes, like when investment banker Michael Grimes texted Musk a YouTube link to the Lynyrd Skynrd song “Free Bird.” But other texts will have serious consequences for Musk’s case, like when Elon texts his brother on April 9, 2022 about an idea to create a new social media app on a blockchain after already agreeing to join the Twitter board. Just two days later, it became public that Elon didn’t want to be on the board anymore.
Musk asks fellow billionaire Larry Ellison if he’s interested in helping take Twitter private, and Ellison offers up $1 billion like it’s the spare change he’d find in his cushions to make a run for some snacks at 7-11. Musk replies that Ellison should invest $2 billion.
We’ve selected some of the most interesting texts included in the court filing below, but if you want to read them all they’re available here. While there are plenty of blacked out redactions for things you’d expect, like addresses and other identifying information, there are some curious redactions of entire names where it’s not clear who’s communicating with Musk.
We’ve done our best to compile the text conversations to make sure they’re easy to read but there are times when Musk is texting with two people at the same time. An instance where that might matter is the text exchanges between Elon and his brother Kimbal as well as Elon and Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal on April 9, 2022. Elon was both texting his brother about starting a new social media company while also texting with Agrawal about not wanting to serve on the board anymore.
Gizmodo has also embedded screenshots of tweets that only appear as URLs in the court filings.