Reports have come on Thursday that Elon Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX paid over $250,000 to reportedly cover up a case of inappropriate sexual behavior from Musk towards a flight attendant who was working for the company. 

The incident reportedly took place in 2016, when Musk had asked the flight attendant for a “full body massage,” and that while he was being massaged, he “exposed his genitals” and offered to buy her a horse in exchange for sexual favors with him, according to the Daily Beast

“Before the incident, she regarded Mr. Musk as a person to look up to,” the declaration said. “But after he exposed himself, touched her without permission, and offered to pay her for sex, she was full of anxiety,” a declaration of her friend said. 

The flight attendant was reportedly receiving fewer shifts and opportunities for advancement in the company after she refused Musk’s offer, to the point where her friend believed that “she was being pushed out and punished for refusing to prostitute herself.”

In exchange for the $250,000 severance payment, the flight attendant promised not to sue Musk or SpaceX in the future over the claims. She also signed restrictive non-disclosure and non-disparagement clauses months before California outlawed those types of NDAs except at the request of the plaintiff, Business Insider reported. 

The friend of the flight attendant, who drew up a declaration backing up the claims of inappropriate sexual behavior, came forward to the media after she felt like she was allowing Musk to escape from responsibility by not coming forward. 

“When you choose to remain silent, yeah, you do become a part of that system,” the friend said. “You do become a part of that machine that allows someone like Elon Musk to continue to do the horrible things that he's done.”

“If there were a way for [her] to come forward without putting herself at risk, without jeopardizing her life in any way, I believe she would,” the friend continued. “I hope she feels like I did the right thing. I hope she feels I said the things that she didn't feel safe enough to say.”

Musk has denied the allegation, calling the report a “politically motivated hit piece” and refusing to comment or respond to the piece in question. 

“If I were inclined to engage in sexual harassment, this is unlikely to be the first time in my entire 30-year career that it comes to light,” he said.

Insider investigations editor John Cook said that Musk tweeted to his followers just hours after being asked to comment on the story, saying that “Political attacks on me will escalate in coming months.”

SpaceX has yet to comment on the story.

GettyImages-1395067056 Billionaire Elon Musk has been hit with an allegation of sexual misconduct after it was reported that his company SpaceX paid $250,000 to cover up a potential case of inappropriate sexual behavior. Rob Kim/Getty Images.