Rudy Giuliani must pay defamed election workers $148 million, jurors find in unanimous decision


MAY 15th 2023: Rudy Giuliani is sued for $10 million by a former female aide accusing him of sexual assault and harassment. – File Photo by: zz/NDZ/STAR MAX/IPx 2022 2/2/22 Former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani at the funeral service for NYPD police officer Wilbert Mora at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on February 2, 2022 in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. (NYC)

After a little more than a day of deliberations, a jury has found that Rudy Giuliani, former New York mayor and onetime attorney to former President Donald Trump, must pay a little over $148 million for defaming election workers Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss with a vicious campaign that falsely proclaimed the mother-daughter duo were engaged in fraud and had “cheated” voters in the 2020 election.

At the start of the trial, Joseph Sibley, Giuliani’s attorney told the court: “What the plaintiffs’ counsel are asking for in this case is the civil equivalent of a death penalty.”

Attorneys for the plaintiffs had recommended the jury award $24 million to each woman — for a total of $48 million — in compensatory damages. The amount for punitive or emotional damages, however, was left open-ended for the jury to decide.

The sum — $148,169,000 million — represents compensatory and punitive damages.

The trial lasted just four days and featured testimony from both Freeman and Moss and expert witnesses for the plaintiffs. Giuliani, however, refused to testify.

Giuliani is expected to appeal and when he was exiting the courthouse in Washington, D.C. on Friday following the verdict, Politico reporter Kyle Cheney stopped him on the sidewalk.

Giuliani called the ruling “absurd.”

“I don’t regret a damn thing,” he said.

When asked why he did not take the stand, Giuliani reportedly told NBC that he felt the judge was “threatening” him with a possible contempt charge.

Outside of the courthouse, Freeman addressed reporters gathered there.

“For now, I want people to understand this: money will never solve all of my problems. I can never move back into the house that I called home. I will always have to be careful about where I go and who I choose to share my name with. I miss my home, I miss my neighbors and I miss my name. I’ve heard some of you — don’t be sad for me. Don’t waste your time being angry at those who did this to me and my daughter. We are more than conquerors, pray for us as we continue to fight the good fight of faith. I tell my attorneys, often, my friends say God knew who to give this assignment to because if it had been them, they wouldn’t have been able to go through this. God chose me to go through this because he knows I would tell everyone whose path I cross about Jesus. I’m strong and my faith shall never waver. From day one, I have said now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. If you remember one thing I say to day, remember this: faith is what carried us through the most difficult years of my life and faith is what will carry you through hardships that you face in life. Understand that the devil is a liar, he is defeated and no weapon formed against you shall prosper,” she said.

Giuliani is already on the hook to Moss and Freeman for another $230,000 after failing to respond to aspects of their initial lawsuit and this July, he tried to have it both ways when he conceded that he made defamatory remarks against the women but argued there was not any damage to their reputation. His speech was protected under the First Amendment anyway, his attorneys argued.

At present, Giuliani also faces civil a sexual harassment lawsuit by a former associate; he has been sued by Hunter Biden for alleging mishandling personal data and he has also been charged in Georgia along with Trump and others in the fake electors case.

Politico reported that the jury broke down the damages as follows: $16 million for each woman’s defamation claims against him and then $20 million a piece for the emotional damage. Punitive damages were allotted at $75 million.

The trial, while brief, was packed with emotions as the women recounted the terrors that were visited upon them as Giuliani, former President Donald Trump and the Trump 2020 election campaign, regurgitated bogus claims that the women committed fraud while working at State Farm Arena in Fulton County, Georgia during the 2020 election.

Freeman testified that when she heard Trump — then one of the most powerful men in the world — call her by name while repeating Giuliani’s baseless claims online and in the press, it struck her as downright “evil.”

“The former president? Talking about me? How mean. How evil. I was devastated. We didn’t do nothing. It just made me feel like, you don’t care. You’re just trying to execute your plan,” she said.

The women were forced to go into hiding and endured death threats by the several hundred. There were threats to lynch the women and kidnap them. It stressful then and has not yet ceased to be, Moss testified this week. Her son has struggled with school and she has struggled to rebuild.

The women’s attorney, Michael Gottlieb, urged the eight-person jury during closing arguments Thursday to “send a message” that defamatory conduct like Giuliani’s would not be tolerated.

Giuliani “had no right to offer up defenseless civil servants to a virtual mob in order to overturn an election,” Gottlieb said.

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