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Will $148 Million verdict spell the end for Rudy Giuliani? Former New York City mayor appeals defamation decision

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Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, faces a financial ruin if he loses an appeal of a defamation lawsuit that ordered him to pay $148 million to two election workers from Atlanta whom he falsely accused of rigging the 2020 presidential election.

A jury awarded $148 million in damages on Friday to two former Georgia election workers who sued Rudy Giuliani for defamation over lies he spread about them in 2020 that upended their lives with racist threats and harassment. AP/PTI(AP)
A jury awarded $148 million in damages on Friday to two former Georgia election workers who sued Rudy Giuliani for defamation over lies he spread about them in 2020 that upended their lives with racist threats and harassment. AP/PTI(AP)

His lawyer, Joe Sibley, argued in a Washington, DC, court on Thursday that the $43 million in damages that Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Andrea “Shaye” Moss, initially demanded would be “the civil equivalent of the death penalty.”

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“If you award them what they are asking for, it will be the end of Mr. Giuliani,” Sibley said of his 79-year-old client, according to multiple outlets.

However, the DC jury decided to award even more to the plaintiffs after two days of deliberations. They granted $75 million in punitive damages and $20 million each for emotional distress to Freeman and Moss. They also gave Moss nearly $17 million and Freeman almost $16.2 million for defamation.

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Giuliani, who is also facing other lawsuits that claim he owes millions of dollars to lawyers and accountants, vowed to appeal the verdict, calling it “absurd.”

“Do I have $43 million? No. Am I going to fight this case until I die? Yeah,” Giuliani told The Post. “I’d rather die poor with my principles than cave in to a destruction of my country that I love so much.”

He also alleged that the lawsuit was “part of the Biden offensive that started some time ago to see what they can do about intimidating Trump lawyers, Trump supporters,” and that one of the lawyers for Freeman and Moss, Mike Gottlieb, was “a good friend of Hunter Biden.”

Gottlieb, who used to work as an associate White House counsel for President Barack Obama, was a colleague of the president’s son at the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner and was involved in email conversations on his abandoned laptop about a possible deal with a Romanian tycoon.

Giuliani also expressed his distrust of the Biden administration when asked about a $550,000 tax lien that the IRS placed on his condo in Palm Beach, Fla., as reported by the New York Times.

“I don’t trust anything that the Biden government does, this is not the United States government,” he said.

Giuliani was found guilty by default in August by US District Judge Beryl Howell for defaming Freeman and Moss by claiming they had handled fake ballots in Fulton County during the 2020 election.

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“How you can find liability based on discovery is beyond me when they had my deposition,” Giuliani also told The New York Post.

“They had more documents about me than I have.”

He said he had cooperated with the discovery process for about a year and a half and had provided “thousands and thousands and thousands of documents,” including his deposition where he did not invoke the Fifth Amendment.

Giuliani also put his longtime Manhattan co-op on the market for $6.5 million in the same month that the FBI raided it in 2021 and seized his electronic devices, possibly as part of an investigation into his failure to register as a foreign agent for Ukraine before the 2020 election.

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