Rudy Giuliani Defamation Payments

(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Former prosecutor, Rudy Giuliani is now on the other side of the courtroom. As a defendant in a civil case, Giuliani was found guilty and ordered to pay two Georgia women $148 million in damages?

What did he do, and why was he ordered to pay the women right away?

Lies Lead to Harassment

Rudy Giuliani was once hailed as a major political leader known as “America’s Mayor.” But in the past few years, Giuliani has found himself in legal trouble for things he has said and done.

After the 2020 election, Giuliani used his platform to spread the lie that the election had been stolen from Donald J. Trump.

On social media and through media outlets, Giuliani called out two women for their involvement with the 2020 election: mother and daughter, Ruby Freeman and Wandrea “Shaye” Moss.

The two women worked at an absentee ballot counting facility in Fulton County, Georgia, during the 2020 election. Giuliani repeatedly and publicly stated that the two women manipulated the voting results and scanned ballots twice in order to secure more votes for Joe Biden.

After his comments, the women began to receive violent and racist threats. The FBI informed them their lives were in danger and they became afraid to leave their homes, per reporting by NPR.

Freeman and Moss believed their lives were ruined, and they blamed Giuliani.

Related: Dealing With the Media During a High-Profile Case: What to Expect

Lies Lead to a Lawsuit

The two women filed a defamation lawsuit against Giuliani.

The civil suit claimed Giuliani spread lies about the women even after the allegations had been proven to be false. A years-long investigation by the Georgia secretary of state’s office found there to be no credible claims against the women, and a hand count found the votes in their precinct to be calculated correctly, per reporting by NPR.

The defamation case was filed in a federal court in Washington, D.C., and the judge presiding over the case agreed with the women’s claims.

In August 2023, U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell issued a default judgment against Giuliani and said he was liable for “defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, civil conspiracy and punitive damage claims,” per NPR.

The judge made the decision after Giuliani conceded that he did make false statements about the women. In a court filing, his legal team said, “While Giuliani does not admit to Plaintiffs’ allegations, he — for purposes of this litigation only — does not contest the factual allegations.”

Once the ruling was made, it was time to determine how much Giuliani would have to pay the two women.

Related: What’s the Difference Between a Civil and Criminal Case? 

Lies Lead to $148 Million in Damages

Once the judge made his ruling, the case went in front of an eight-person jury to determine the amount of damages due in the case.

On December 15, the jury said Giuliani owed the women $148 million in damages.

In most cases, the defendant has 30 days to begin to pay damages, but attorneys for the women didn’t want to wait. On December 18, attorneys for the woman filed a motion to force Giuliani to pay immediately, saying they believed he would work to hide his assets.

District Judge Beryl Howell ruled that Giuliani must immediately pay the $148 million.

Then, the women filed another lawsuit against Giuliani.

Related: What You Should Expect from Your Attorney in Every Case

Lies Carry On

Despite being found guilty of defamation in the case, Giuliani continued to share the same lies that led to the lawsuit.

After the ruling, he went on to say, “Everything I said about them is true” and “I told the truth. They were engaged in changing votes.”

Lawyers for Freeman and Moss are now seeking a court order that permanently bars Giuliani “from persisting in his defamatory campaign.” This lawsuit does not seek monetary damages, according to NBC News.

Giuliani also has two more legal cases ahead of him.

He is charged with a dozen criminal counts accusing him of trying to overturn the 2020 election.

And, on December 21, Giuliani filed for bankruptcy.

Giuliani’s bankruptcy court filings say he has between $100 million and $500 million in liabilities and $1 million to $10 million in assets, per Reuters. It is unlikely he will pay the $148 million owed to Freeman and Moss.

Find a Lawyer Who Will Fight for You

Don’t go into a civil or criminal case on your own. Face your legal challenges with a trusted attorney by your side. Schedule your call with TJ Grimaldi today. Request your consultation or call 813-226-1023.

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