Giuliani Trial: Jury Awards Election Workers $148 Million

A Washington, D.C., jury has awarded $148 million to the two Georgia election workers defamed by lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, testified that Giuliani, supported by former President Donald Trump, “terrorized” the two by spreading lies about their activities as election workers in Fulton County during the 2020 election.

The eye-watering sum breaks down to $33 million for defamation (more than $16 million each), $40 million for emotional distress ($20 million each), and $75 million in punitive damages.

Michael Gottlieb, one of the attorneys representing the two women, had asked for $48 million in damages for the pair ― $24 million per person.

Freeman endured threatening letters and voicemails, she said, alongside violent and racist social media messages and in-person confrontations.

After the FBI told Freeman her name was found on a “death list,” she sold her home and moved, purchasing a new home under a new name.

“I don’t have a name no more,” she told the jury. “The only thing you have in your life is your name … My life is messed up. My life is really messed up.”

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani talks to reporters Dec. 11 as he leaves the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani talks to reporters Dec. 11 as he leaves the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C.

Outside the courthouse following the verdict, Giuliani, who was acting as Trump’s personal attorney in a raft of legal actions seeking to overturn the 2020 presidential election, said he didn’t “regret a damn thing” and planned to appeal the verdict.

“I am quite confident when this case gets me before a fair tribunal, this will be reversed so quickly it will make your head spin,” he told reporters.

A default judgment this summer concluded that Giuliani was liable for defamation. All that remained was to establish his financial penalty for doing so.

Giuliani kicked off the trial Monday by repeating to reporters the same defamatory claims that landed him in court to begin with ― an elaborate series of lies about the 2020 election that he’d already conceded were false.

In an abrupt about-face, Giuliani didn’t testify in his own defense, despite pledging early on that he would “definitively clear” his name by doing so.

Giuliani attorney Joseph Sibley urged the jury to consider a lower figure, describing any large sum as like a “death penalty” for the former New York City mayor.

“If you award them what they are asking for, it will be the end of Mr. Giuliani,” Sibley said. Giuliani’s financial difficulties, including swelling legal bills and hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid income taxes, have been widely reported.

In his closing statement, Sibley fished for sympathy, casting Giuliani as a “good man” who’s been caught in a series of unfortunate circumstances lately.

“This is a man who did great things,” he said. “If he hasn’t been so great lately, I want you to judge him by the entire character of who he is.”

Following Friday’s verdict, Giuliani told reporters the harassment the election workers faced was not his fault.

“The comments they received, I had nothing to do with,” he said. “Those comments are abominable, deplorable, no defense. But I receive comments like that every day.”

In her statement to reporters after the verdict, Ruby Freeman expressed her thanks to the jury and said there’s more work to be done.

“A jury stood witness to what Rudy Giuliani did to me and my daughter, and held him accountable, and for that I’m thankful,” she said. “Today is not the end of the road, we still have work to do. Rudy Giuliani was not the only one who spread lies about us, and others must be held accountable too.”

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