SpaceX executive defends Elon Musk against misconduct accusations.

A top executive at the rocket maker SpaceX said she “personally” believed that sexual harassment accusations against Elon Musk, the company’s founder and chief executive, were false, according to a companywide email, which was obtained by The New York Times.

In the email, which was sent Friday, Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer, said she had worked closely with Mr. Musk for 20 years and had “never seen nor heard anything resembling these allegations.” She added, “Anyone who knows Elon like I do, knows he would never conduct or condone this alleged inappropriate behavior.”

Ms. Shotwell was addressing an article by Business Insider last week that said Mr. Musk propositioned a flight attendant for a sexual massage during a flight to London in 2016. He also exposed himself to the attendant and offered her a horse, according to the article, the details of which were not independently verified by The New York Times.

The unidentified woman hired an employment lawyer in 2018 and sent a complaint to SpaceX’s human resources department, according to Business Insider. SpaceX settled later that year, paying the woman $250,000 in exchange for a promise not to sue over the claims.