Georgia – It was not that long ago when Rudy Giuliani visited Trump in person at his residence on several occasions, literally begging him to help Giuliani cover his ballooning legal bills. Trump tried to help with organizing fundraisers, but that’s not going to help Giuliani a lot because he was just ordered to pay $148 million to two Georgia election workers whom he had previously falsely accused of fraud on multiple occasions. A federal jury confirmed the decision on Friday following a four-day trial.
Wandrea “Shaye” Moss and her mother, Ruby Freeman, were awarded $148 million in damages by the eight-person jury. According to the mother and daughter’s testimony during the process, they said that “Giuliani’s lies in support of former President Donald Trump’s bogus stolen-election claims subjected them to a torrent of racist and violent threats and turned their lives upside down.”
“The lies Rudy Giuliani told about me and my mommy after the 2020 presidential election have changed our lives, and the past few years has been devastating,” Moss said. “We’re very grateful to the jury for taking the time out of their busy lives to do their civic duty to listen to everything that we’ve been going through,” she said, adding that her “greatest wish” is that no election worker “ever experiences anything like what we went through.”
Freeman was also satisfied with the final decision, saying that Giuliani got what he deserved for what he did to her and her daughter. She also thanked the eight-person jury for standing with them and properly punishing Giuliani for his actions in the past.
Freeman and Moss received compensation for three kinds of harm: defamation, punitive, and emotional distress. They each got $20 million for mental pain and $70 million for punitive damages. Freeman got more than $16 million for defamation damages, and Moss got almost $17 million.
Giuliani didn’t agree with the punishment, so he said he would challenge it.
In court, Freeman said that she was scared to death by Trump’s supporters, fueled by Giuliani’s lies, which eventually forced her to move from her home. She felt unsafe going home at night, and she was left with no options but to move.
In the final speech, their lawyer, Michael Gottlieb, said that Giuliani put innocent public workers in front of angry crowds to protest the election results, which was wrong. He told the jury to send a strong message with their decision.
He further said that both victims in the case should get at least $24 million for the harm that Giuliani’s lies caused, plus more for the intentional mental distress and punitive damages.
Giuliani, who led Trump’s legal team after his 2020 election loss, initially said he would testify in the case, but ultimately decided against it.
The only issue the jury had to determine was money damages after U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell in August found Giuliani liable for defaming the pair after the defendant repeatedly snubbed court orders to turn over required evidence to Freeman and Moss.
The verdict compounds a bleak financial picture for the former mayor, who’s said that his efforts to overturn the 2020 election has taken a toll on his finances at a time when he’s facing a number of legal challenges.