Washington, D.C. – Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has been ordered by a federal jury to pay a total of $148 million to two former Georgia election workers. The workers, Ruby Freeman and Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss, were falsely accused by Giuliani of engaging in a fake ballot processing scheme during the 2020 presidential election. The jury deliberated for 10 hours before reaching their decision.
Giuliani, who served as former President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, was found liable for defamation in an earlier ruling by a federal judge. The jury’s task was to determine the amount of compensatory and punitive damages to award Freeman and Moss. The women had sought a total of $48.6 million in compensatory damages, but the jury awarded them a stunning $148 million.
The breakdown of the jury’s award is as follows: $16.1 million to Freeman, $17 million to Moss, $40 million in compensatory damages for emotional distress, and $75 million in punitive damages. Despite the verdict, Giuliani remained defiant, vowing to appeal the ruling and standing by his baseless claims of voter fraud.
During the trial, Freeman and Moss described the terror they experienced after Giuliani falsely tied them to voter fraud. They received racist threats, and their lives were greatly impacted. Moss expressed her fear for her son’s safety, while Freeman spoke of the hate-filled calls, emails, and letters her small business received.
Giuliani had indicated that he would testify in his defense but ultimately chose not to. Throughout the trial, he made more false claims about the women, despite acknowledging earlier that he had made untrue statements about them.
The defamation campaign against Freeman and Moss was part of a larger strategy by Giuliani’s team to cast doubt on the 2020 election. The jurors were instructed to consider any damages caused by Giuliani’s co-conspirators, including Trump and his allies.
The plaintiffs called expert witnesses who testified that Giuliani’s lies about Freeman and Moss had been seen millions of times online. They argued for a campaign to restore their reputation, estimated to cost millions of dollars. Giuliani’s attorney, however, claimed that such an effort would be futile, as those who believed his lies would continue to do so.
The $148 million verdict is a significant blow to Giuliani, who previously stated that his net worth was less than the amount sought by Freeman and Moss. Despite his confident claims of a quick reversal on appeal, the jury’s decision stands as a powerful rebuke to Giuliani’s baseless claims and the harm caused to innocent individuals involved in the election process.
In conclusion, a federal jury has ordered Rudy Giuliani to pay $148 million to Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, former Georgia election workers. The jury’s ruling comes after Giuliani was found liable for defamation in a civil trial. The award serves as a significant victory for the women who were unjustly accused and harmed by Giuliani’s false claims.