Danielle Wiener-Bronner

(CNN Money) -- Vernon Unsworth, the caver accused by Elon Musk of being a pedophile, filed a defamation lawsuit against the Tesla CEO on Monday.

"Elon Musk falsely accused Vern Unsworth of being guilty of heinous crimes," Unsworth's attorney L. Lin Wood said in a statement. "Musk's influence and wealth cannot convert his lies into truth or protect him from accountability for his wrongdoing in a court of law."

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Unsworth is an experienced spelunker who helped save 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Thailand in July.

Musk grew angry with Unsworth after the caver criticized Musk's attempts to help with the Thai cave rescue effort by building a miniature submarine. On Twitter, Musk made the unfounded claim that he was a "pedo" or pedophile.

Representatives of Tesla and Elon Musk did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

— CNN's Jackie Wattles contributed to this report.

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