Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, has refuted allegations that he grabbed and exposed himself to a SpaceX employee six years ago.
According to a story published on Thursday by the Business Insider news site, SpaceX paid the ex-flight attendant $250,000 (£200,000) to settle the allegation.
He said on Twitter, “Those outlandish charges are totally wrong.”
Mr Musk called the story a “politically motivated attack job” by Business Insider.
The SpaceX founder suggested the piece was intended to interfere with his stalled $44bn (£35bn) acquisition of Twitter and malign the recent shift in his politics.
He had used the social media site to announce he “can no longer support” the Democratic Party on Wednesday, saying he plans to vote for Republicans in future elections.
Shares in his electric car company, Tesla, dropped on Friday.
According to Business Insider, SpaceX paid the unnamed woman a severance agreement that was settled out of court and, as part of the deal, she was not allowed to sue the company or talk about the alleged incident.
The magazine quotes an anonymous friend of the flight attendant, who it claimed had provided a signed declaration as part of the settlement
contract for SpaceX’s corporate jet fleet – in 2016 while receiving a massage from her aboard his private jet.
He is accused of exposing his genitals to her, touching her leg without her consent, and offering to purchase her a gift if she would “do more” — a reference to sex activities.
The BBC was unable to independently verify these stories.
He claimed the friend featured in the article was “a far left activist/actress in [Los Angeles] with a serious political axe to grind” in a series of tweets late Thursday night, and challenged her to validate the accusations by identifying his personal body parts.
The magazine’s editor-in-chief, Nicholas Carlson, defended his publication’s work on Twitter, writing: “We stand by our article, which is based on documents and interviews and speaks for itself.”