Elon Musk Opens Up About 'Excruciating' Year

Getty Images  Joshua Lott

"This past year has been the most hard and painful year of my career", Musk said in the interview.

The billionaire entrepreneur dismissed speculation that the Tesla stock price he quoted in the tweet - $420 - was a hint that he was smoking pot. But this has anxious some board members, who have noted that sometimes the drug does not put Mr. Musk to sleep but instead contributes to late-night Twitter sessions, according to a person familiar with the board's thinking. He stood by his tweet last week saying he might take Tesla private and that he had secured the funding to do so.

The company said the board formed a special committee to evaluate proposals to take the company private.

Watch Tesla trade in real time here.

The consequences have been swift and fierce, and members of Tesla's board of directors are now reportedly seeking protection.

Elon Musk is estranged from his and Kimbal's father Errol, after he had a baby with his own stepdaughter - a woman who is 42 years his junior. The SEC is reportedly investigating Musk's tweet and had already been looking into Tesla's Model 3 production troubles.

In a statement to The Times that Tesla attributed to the board of directors, the company criticized what it called "false and irresponsible rumors" about the board's discussions.

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Musk told the paper he has no plans to relinquish his roles of both CEO and chairman at the company. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Musk was frequently "choked up" when he told reporters about how his personal life has suffered because of his (admittedly ambitious) work. "Funding secured." Tesla shares rose following the tweet but the CEO's statement that he had funding secured came under scrutiny.

Mr Musk opened up to the newspaper about the personal toll he says he has endured, working marathon hours trying to ensure that deadlines are met, with Tesla ramping up production of its crucial Model 3 sedan. Last month he launched an extraordinary attack on one of the British divers involved in the rescue of 12 boys and their football coach who were trapped in a cave in Thailand, baselessly calling the diver a "pedo" on Twitter. "Why would I?" he said, when journalists asked if he rued tweeting his intentions. "It is often a choice of no sleep or Ambien", he told the Times.

Our original cover story did wonder if Tesla could profitably make the mid-priced auto that it now sells as the Model 3.

The Times reported that some Tesla board members are concerned about Musk's frequent use of Ambien as well as his occasional use of recreational drugs. "This has really come at the expense of seeing my kids".

Since then, Musk has offered follow-up explanations for the way he handled things, including an admission that he had seen his remarks as a good-faith effort to be transparent with his company's stakeholders.

The 47-year-old went on to attack his detractors while at the same time complaining of being overworked, describing the past year as "excruciating" and the worst of his career.

The Tesla boss says he's prepared for 'at least a few months of extreme torture from the short-sellers, who are desperately pushing a narrative that will possibly result in Tesla's destruction'.

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