Rudy Giuliani filed for bankruptcy for the Fund 11 days after he was ordered to pay more than $148 million to a mother-daughter pair of election officials he defamed in the volatile aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, underscoring the fall of a man once hailed as “ Mayor of America”.
His New York filing comes a day after the federal judge overseeing his defamation case ordered him to pay the women “immediately,” citing his history as an “uncooperative litigant” and concerns that he will try to “conceal his assets' appeals.
Last week, an eight-member jury unanimously agreed that Donald Trump's former lawyer owes Ruby Freeman and her daughter Shay Moss $16.2 million and $16.99 million respectively in damages, plus $20 million each for intentional infliction of emotional distress and another $75 million in punitive damages.
Judge Howell had already found Giuliani liable for defamation in a pre-trial ruling earlier this year. A four-day trial in Washington tried to determine how much he owed.
Ms Moss, who was a clerk at a county election office, and Ms Freeman, her mother, who had taken a temporary job to help count ballots, suffered relentless abuse, threats and racial slurs in the aftermath of the 2020 elections.
During their emotional testimony on the witness stand last week, they described the credible threats, fears and overwhelming anxiety they experienced in the months after the former New York mayor falsely claimed to have driven a suitcase full of fake ballots to a vote-counting center in Georgia and then used a flash drive to manipulate the results.
His bankruptcy filing Thursday lists debts of $500 million and assets of between $1 million and $10 million.
Asked in the deposition about the nature of his debts, he simply wrote: “Lawsuits.”
In addition to the more than $148 million owed to Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss, Mr. Giuliani owes about $1 million in taxes and more than $3.5 million in legal fees.
“The filing should come as no surprise to anyone,” spokesman Ted Goodman said in a statement.
“No one could reasonably believe that Mayor Rudy Giuliani could pay such a high penalty,” he added. “Chapter 11 will give Mayor Giuliani the opportunity and time to file an appeal, while providing transparency about his finances under the supervision of the bankruptcy court to ensure that all creditors are treated equally and fairly throughout the process.”
In a federal court filing this week, the women asked the court to immediately enforce the judgment against Giuliani, fearing that he “will use whatever time he has to alienate or dissipate whatever assets are available to satisfy even and a small part' of the judgment rendered. to them.
In her order on Wednesday, US District Judge Beryl Howell – who has repeatedly been frustrated by Mr Giuliani's efforts to avoid evidence throughout the case – did just that.
Mr. Giuliani's claims that he faced “financial hardship” are “difficult to corroborate” against the hiring of a representative “who accompanied him every day at trial,” the judge wrote.
The case adds to a growing pile of debt and legal hurdles, including a pending lawsuit by voting systems company Smartmatic, a lawsuit by Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, and a sprawling criminal case in Atlanta, where he is accused along with the former president and more than a dozen others for participating in a “criminal enterprise” to illegally overturn Georgia's election results.
A lobbying campaign by Mr. Trump's allies against Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss is key evidence in this case.
Giuliani is also an unnamed and unindicted co-conspirator in the federal election conspiracy case against Trump for his efforts to overturn his loss to Joe Biden.