Rudy Giuliani asks Newsmax host for a loan after $148m defamation ruling

Donald Trump’s former lawyer Rudy Giuliani asked for a loan from a TV anchor just hours after a federal jury asked him to pay nearly $150m to two former Georgia election workers he defamed through false accusations that they helped rig the 2020 election against Donald Trump.

Mr Giuliani appeared on Newsmax on Friday night to decry the judgment against him – but first he asked host Greg Kelly: “You got any money you can loan me, Greg?”

The pair shared a laugh and agreed the judgment was “ludicrous”, with Mr Giuliani remarking: “How can you not be so sad for the country?”

Earlier in the day, the jury in federal court in Washington found that Mr Giuliani owed the workers, Wandrea “Shaye” Moss and her mother Ruby Freeman, roughly $73m to compensate them for the reputational and emotional harm they suffered and $75m to punish the former Trump lawyer for his conduct.

Mr Giuliani slammed the verdict in a defiant press conference outside the court.

“How about some of the comments that the women received? Well, of course the comments they received I had nothing to do with. Those comments are abominable, they’re deplorable. No defence to it but I receive comments like that every day, different kinds of things,” Mr Giuliani said.

He went on: “I’ve represented clients who have gotten that from the other side. This is a terrible part of our political system. Republicans, Democrats, liberals and conservatives – all get that.”

The one-time New York mayor told reporters that the “absurdity of the number merely underscores the absurdity of the entire proceeding”.

The women Mr Trump’s attorney defamed said they were being harassed, receiving death threats, and having to flee their homes due to the conspiracy theories pushed by Mr Giuliani.

Continuing his defence, Mr Giuliani said: “More than that, and I think that was also a very unfair part of it because my comments had no connection at all to those who were of which mine were a small amount. There’s no way to say that my comments are connected to that, but that’s going to be part of what we’ll litigate in a fair court.”

Three years after spreading a lie that the election workers in Georgia manipulated ballots to rig the 2020 presidential election, Mr Giuliani listened to her in person for the first time as she described the abuse she endured, the pain she lives with, and the overwhelming anxiety she continues to experience.

In an emotional testimony, she tearfully described becoming the target of a false conspiracy theory pushed by Mr Giuliani and other Republicans as they tried to keep then-President Donald Trump in power after he lost the 2020 election.

Facebook messages heaped racist abuses on Ms Moss. One person told her to “be glad it’s 2020 and not 1920”. A group of people barged into her grandmother’s home to try to make a citizen’s arrest. Her son, using her old phone as a mobile hotspot for his computer in school, received so many abusive messages he was forced to leave class.

“I’m most scared of my son finding me and my mom hanging in front of our house, or having to get news at school that I was killed,” she said. “That’s what I’m most afraid of.”

Working at the elections office eventually became untenable. She applied for a job at Chick-fil-a. During the interview, she was shown an article about her.

She changed her appearance. She lost friends and was forced to end a 10-year relationship. She gained weight from stress. She cries all the time. She’s afraid when she sees cars behind her in her neighbourhood. She’s worried about being seen at her son’s football games. She’s rarely ever alone. Her therapist encouraged her to try, but she was too nauseous from fear to stay out in public.

“It feels like I’m in a dark place and I’m surrounded by lies and conspiracies, like I’m surrounded by a swamp of loneliness and sadness and negativity. … I still feel like I’m in that cycle of eat, sleep, cry, look online,” she said.

An audible gasp filled the courtroom when the jury foreperson read aloud the $75m award in punitive damages for the women.

“Money will never solve all my problems,” she told reporters outside Washington’s federal courthouse after the verdict.

“I can never move back into the house that I call home. I will always have to be careful about where I go and who I choose to share my name with. I miss my home. I miss my neighbours and I miss my name.”

Mr Giuliani said he would appeal.

A state investigation found that the women were legally and properly processing ballots. Lawyers for the two women alleged that the claims were part of a conspiracy that involved Mr Trump, his legal team, and a right-wing media outlet to help him sow doubt about the election and reverse his defeat to Democrat Joe Biden.

Mr Giuliani has faced a series of civil and criminal woes – and mounting legal fees – since helping to spearhead Trump’s efforts to overturn the election.

Mr Giuliani has been criminally charged in the Georgia racketeering case against Mr Trump and several of his allies, in part for targeting Moss and Freeman. He has pleaded not guilty.


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