A federal jury has ordered Rudy Giuliani to pay $148 million in damages to Georgia poll workers, Ruby Freeman and Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, for spreading false claims of election fraud.
A federal jury has delivered a resounding verdict against Rudy Giuliani, former lawyer to Donald Trump, compelling him to pay a staggering $148 million in damages for defamation.
The decision comes after Giuliani’s baseless allegations accusing Georgia poll workers, Ruby Freeman and her daughter Shaye Moss, of engaging in election fraud during the 2020 presidential race.
The eight-person jury, presided over by US District Judge Beryl Howell, found Giuliani liable for defaming Freeman and Moss, awarding each of them over $16 million for defamation, $20 million for emotional distress, and a hefty $75 million in punitive damages.
The verdict underscores the serious consequences of spreading unfounded claims that undermine the integrity of the electoral process.
Giuliani, 79, who led Trump’s legal efforts to overturn the election results, posted a video falsely accusing Freeman and Moss of fraud during ballot-counting and made numerous other baseless claims.
The fallout from these accusations has had a profound impact on the lives of the two poll workers, leading to emotional distress, threats, and significant disruptions.
Speaking outside the Washington courthouse, Moss expressed the devastating impact of Giuliani’s lies, stating, “The flame that Giuliani lit with those lies and passed to so many others to keep that flame blazing changed every aspect of our lives, our homes, our family, our work, our sense of safety, our mental health.”
While Freeman expressed gratitude for the jury holding Giuliani accountable, she emphasized that their fight continues.
Freeman stated, “Today is not the end of the road. Rudy Giuliani was not the only one who spread lies about us, and others must be held accountable too.”
In response to the verdict, Giuliani denounced the damages award as “absurd” and vowed to appeal, claiming confidence that a fair tribunal would swiftly reverse the decision.
Despite the significant financial repercussions, Giuliani doubled down on his baseless allegations against Freeman and Moss, asserting the supportability of his comments.
The case takes on additional significance as Freeman and Moss, both Black individuals, revealed during the trial that they had become targets of racist threats as a result of Giuliani’s false accusations.
This legal battle is just one of several challenges Giuliani faces; he is indicted on racketeering charges in Georgia, accused of conspiring with Trump and others to overturn the 2020 election results in the state.
Giuliani’s legal troubles extend beyond this case, with his license to practice law suspended in New York and Washington for making “false and misleading statements” in his efforts to overturn the election results.
As Giuliani vows to appeal, this verdict marks a pivotal moment in holding individuals accountable for spreading misinformation that has far-reaching consequences on the lives of those implicated.
The legal saga surrounding Giuliani’s actions continues, adding another chapter to his complex and controversial post-mayoral career.