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Former Twitter execs sue Musk and X for more than $128 million in severance

Former Twitter executives including CEO Parag Agrawal, Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal, head of legal Vijaya Gadde and General Counsel Sean Edgett filed a new lawsuit against Elon Musk and X Corp. in federal court arguing that they are owed $128 million in unpaid severance.

In their complaint, lawyers for the ex-Twitter executives say that after Musk backed himself into a deal to buy Twitter, now X Corp., for $44 billion, he took revenge against these executives personally, and tried to recover some of his expenses by “repeatedly refusing to honor other clear contractual commitments.”

Musk and X Corp. have been “stiffing employees, landlords, vendors, and others” since they took over Twitter, the lawyers allege, an allusion to more than 25 vendor nonpayment lawsuits filed against the social media business by companies including software and service providers and a landlord.

“Musk doesn’t pay his bills, believes the rules don’t apply to him, and uses his wealth and power to run roughshod over anyone who disagrees with him,” the complaint says.

The complaint also alludes to comments Musk made to his official biographer, Walter Isaacson, that “he would ‘hunt every single one of’ Twitter’s executives and directors ‘till the day they die.’”

The ex-Twitter executives’ lawyers argue, “These statements were not the mere rantings of a self-centered billionaire surrounded by enablers unwilling to confront him with the legal consequences of his own choices. Musk bragged to Isaacson specifically how he planned to cheat Twitter’s executives out of their severance benefits in order to save himself $200 million.”

The suit, Agrawal et al v. Musk et al, was filed in California’s Northern District and follows news that settlement talks between X Corp. and ex-Twitter managers broke down in a related case in Delaware, Woodfield v. Twitter Inc., where $500 million in unpaid severance to former Twitter managers and engineers is in dispute.

Representatives for X Corp. and Elon Musk did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

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