Elon Musk says he didn’t cry when he told The New York Times about his ‘excruciating’ year and lonely nights at the Tesla factory. The Times says his ’emotion was audible.’

Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
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Bill Pugliano / Stringer / Getty Images

  • In a story published on August 16, The New York Times said Tesla CEO Elon Musk “alternated between laughter and tears” in an interview with the publication.
  • On Tuesday, Musk said on Twitter that while his voice cracked during the interview, he didn’t cry.
  • A New York Times spokesperson said the publication stands by its description of Musk in the story.
  • “Mr. Musk’s emotion was audible. It is not true that his voice only cracked once,” the spokesperson said.

In a story published on August 16, The New York Times said Tesla CEO Elon Musk “alternated between laughter and tears” in an interview with the publication.

On Tuesday, Musk said on Twitter that while his voice cracked during the interview, he didn’t cry.

“For the record, my voice cracked once during the NY Times article. That’s it. There were no tears,” he said.

The story was published as Musk was attracting controversy for his statements about potentially converting Tesla into a private company. Musk told The Times that the past year – which has been marked by production delays, questions about Tesla’s financial health, and concerns over Musk’s Twitter use – has been the most difficult of his career.

In the story, Musk is described as having “choked up multiple times” during the interview, which took place over the phone, according to a follow-up story.

A New York Times spokesperson said the publication stands by its description of Musk in the first story.

“Mr. Musk’s emotion was audible. It is not true that his voice only cracked once,” the spokesperson said.

During the interview, Musk discussed the events that preceded a controversial tweet in which he said he had secured funding for a go-private deal. He said he had composed the tweet while driving himself to the airport and hadn’t reviewed it with Tesla’s board of directors before publishing it. The tweet has reportedly led to an investigation from the Securities and Exchange Commission, though Musk told The Times that he didn’t regret the tweet.

Musk also discussed how his work schedule, which he said has consumed as many as 120 hours per week, has taken a toll on his physical and emotional health.

“It’s not been great, actually. I’ve had friends come by who are really concerned,” he said.

Musk said on Friday that Tesla will remain a public company. Though he said in a post on Tesla’s website that he believed there was “more than enough funding” to complete a go-private deal, he said the process of going private could create distractions for the company and problems for the company’s current investors, some of whom had told Musk they would prefer Tesla remain public.

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