A lawyer for Rudy Giuliani stated Monday that if he is forced to pay the full amount sought by the lawyers for two Georgia election workers whom he was held civilly liable for defaming, the former New York City mayor will go bankrupt.
Giuliani rose to fresh national prominence as an advocate for Donald Trump, particularly during the former president’s efforts to protest or overturn the results of his loss to Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. He served as mayor of fresh York from 1994 to 2001 and ran for president in 2008. During that time, Giuliani made remarks against two Georgia election workers, Ruby Freeman and her daughter Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, saying that they had committed election fraud in the state, which Trump had narrowly lost to Biden.
The mother and daughter have since sued Giuliani for civil defamation, saying that his charges against them were untrue and unjustified, upsetting their lives and making them fear for their own safety. The couple claimed they were bombarded with “vile, racist, and hateful comments,” which they claim Giuliani encouraged.
In the end, a federal judge decided that the former mayor was liable for defamation in the case, and a jury will now decide how much he must pay Freeman and Moss. The couple’s legal team is demanding up to $43 million in damages, with Giuliani’s attorney, Joseph Sibley, telling the jury that such a sum would be financially disastrous for his client.
“It would be the end of Mr. Giuliani,” Sibley said, adding that the full sum sought would be the “civil equivalent of the death penalty.”
Sibley and attorneys representing Freeman and Moss were contacted by Newsweek for comment via email.
The mother-daughter duo is seeking “from $15.5 million to $43 million, inclusive of special damages.” Attorneys Michael Gotlieb and Meryl Governski asked the jury in a filing to “the jury to award compensatory damages for the severe emotional distress caused by Defendant Giuliani and his co-conspirators between 2020 through the present in an amount to be determined by the jury, including based on Plaintiffs’ mental pain and suffering, fear, inconvenience, nervousness, indignity, insult, humiliation, or embarrassment that Plaintiffs suffered directly because of Defendant Giuliani and his co-conspirators’ conduct.”
U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ruled Giuliani liable in the case after he repeatedly failed to provide evidence to Freeman and Moss’ team during the discovery phase. Howell stated in her decision that “bypassing the discovery process carries serious sanctions.” He has already been fined nearly $90,000 for the poll workers’ legal bills in the case.
Meanwhile, the former mayor has reportedly spent millions of dollars defending himself in different criminal matters in which he maintains his innocence, offering his Manhattan Upper East Side home for $6.5 million. In September, an invitation-only event was held at Trump’s Bedminster, New Jersey, club to raise funds on his behalf as part of the Rudy Giuliani Freedom Fund. The former president was the featured speaker at the $100,000-per-person dinner.
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