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SpaceX has defended allegations of sexual assault against its CEO Elon Musk, saying the aerospace company has 'zero tolerance' policy for harassment.

In an email sent to employees, SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell defended Musk after reports surfaced that the company paid a female worker $250,000 to hush up sexual misconduct charges against the Tesla CEO, reports CNBC.

"Personally, I believe the allegations to be false; not because I work for Elon, but because I have worked closely with him for 20 years and never seen nor heard anything resembling these allegations," Shotwell was quoted as saying.

"Anyone who knows Elon like I do, knows he would never conduct or condone this alleged inappropriate behaviour," she claimed.

Last week, a Business Insider report claimed that Musk allegedly offered to buy a horse to a SpaceX female employee in exchange for an erotic massage and touching "his genitals".

"She accused Musk of... rubbing her leg without consent, and offering to buy her a horse in exchange for an erotic massage," the report claimed, quoting interviews and documents.

The incident took place in 2016 and was reported in a declaration "signed by a friend of the attendant and prepared in support of her claim".

Musk refuted the report, saying that "it was clear that their only goal was a hit price to interfere with the Twitter acquisition. The story was written before they even talked to me".

In her email, Shotwell said that "every accusation of harassment is taken very seriously, regardless of who is involved" and that SpaceX HR investigates all the claims it receives.

She, however, did not mention the alleged $250,000 payment to a SpaceX employee to hush up the case against Musk.

"For privacy reasons I will never comment on any legal matters involving employment issues," Shotwell added.

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