ATLANTA, GA – Two former Georgia election workers were awarded $148 million in damages on Friday in a defamation lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani. The plaintiffs, Wandrea “Shaye” Moss and her mother Ruby Freeman, testified in court about the devastating impact of false conspiracy theories propagated by Giuliani and other Republicans following the 2020 election.
During the emotional trial, Moss and Freeman recounted the racist threats and harassment they endured as a result of Giuliani’s lies. The jury’s decision included a $75 million punitive damages award, as well as approximately $36 million in other damages for each woman.
Following the verdict, Freeman expressed that while the money cannot fully resolve their problems, it symbolizes the harm done to their lives. She mourned the loss of her home and the constant fear and vigilance she now lives with. Meanwhile, Giuliani showed no visible reaction in the courtroom and vowed to appeal the decision, dismissing the damages as absurd.
It is uncertain whether Giuliani, who is already facing financial difficulties due to other lawsuits and investigations related to his representation of former President Donald Trump, will be able to pay the significant amount. Earlier this year, Giuliani’s former lawyer filed a lawsuit alleging that the former mayor had failed to fully compensate him for legal fees.
Giuliani had previously admitted in court documents that he falsely accused the women of ballot fraud. However, even after being found liable in the defamation case, he continued to repeat baseless allegations against them to reporters. His defense attempted to shift blame onto a right-wing website that published surveillance video of the women counting ballots.
Despite Giuliani’s claims, the judge prohibited him from asserting his conspiracy theories as truth during his testimony. The judgment against Giuliani adds to his growing legal and financial troubles, as he also faces criminal charges in a separate case in Georgia related to alleged efforts to undermine the 2020 election results.
Recordings played in court revealed Giuliani making false accusations against the election workers, including claims of ballot tampering and multiple vote counts. These conspiracy theories were also endorsed by Trump on his social media accounts. Moss and Freeman, who are Black, presented audio recordings of the racist threats they received, further emphasizing the severity of the harm caused.
Both women testified about the fear they experienced as a result of the threats and harassment. Freeman described strangers banging on her door and her subsequent relocation for safety purposes. Moss shared her struggles with panic attacks and her altered appearance in an attempt to avoid recognition.
After the verdict, Moss expressed her hope that no one would have to endure the same experience they went through. Attorneys for Moss and Freeman highlighted Giuliani’s continued false claims and lack of remorse, insisting that he be held accountable for his actions.
In a related ruling, the judge had already ordered Giuliani and his business entities to pay substantial attorneys’ fees. The judgment against Giuliani serves as a reminder of the legal peril he currently faces, as his false election claims continue to have consequences. The former mayor maintains his innocence and argues that the accusations against him are politically motivated.
In summary, a jury awarded $148 million in damages to two former Georgia election workers in their defamation lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani. The decision reflects the deep harm caused by Giuliani’s false conspiracy theories, which resulted in racist threats and harassment against the plaintiffs. Despite being found liable and acknowledging his false accusations, Giuliani has vowed to appeal the verdict.