Rudy Giuliani to pay $148 million to two women he falsely accused of tampering with 2020 votes

A court in Washington has ordered Rudy Giuliani to pay around $148 million in damages to two women who he falsely accused of tampering with votes in the 2020 presidential election. ITV News Correspondent Robert Moore reports.

Former Donald Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani has been ordered to pay $148 million for lies he spread about two former Georgian election workers following the 2020 election.

Giuliani was among those to claim that election was stolen from Mr Trump.

He falsely accused Wandrea “Shaye” Moss and her mother, Ruby Freeman in a video he shared on social media. Following the post falsely accused them of tampering with votes in the 2020 presidential election, the women faced racist threats and harassment.

They described becoming the target of a false conspiracy theory pushed by Mr Giuliani and other Republicans as they tried to keep then President Trump in power after he lost the 2020 election.

Jurors heard recordings of Giuliani falsely accusing the election workers of sneaking in ballots in suitcases, counting ballots multiple times and tampering with voting machines.

Trump also repeated the conspiracy theories through his social media accounts.

Lawyers for Moss and Freeman also played for jurors audio recordings of the graphic and racist threats the women received.

The women said they feared for their lives as they continued to receive hateful messages, when taking to the witness stand.

Wandrea "Shaye" Moss, a former Georgia election worker, is comforted by her mother Ruby Freeman, (right). Credit: AP

Ms Moss told jurors she tried to change her appearance, rarely leaves her home and suffers from panic attacks.

Her mother described strangers banging on her door and recounted fleeing her home after people came with bullhorns and the FBI told her she wasn’t safe.

“It’s so scary, anytime I go somewhere, if I have to use my name,” Ms Freeman said.

She said: “I miss my old neighbourhood because I was me, I could introduce myself. Now I don’t have a name, really.”

There was an audible gasp in the courtroom when the leader of jury read out the $75 million (£59 million) award in punitive damages for the women.

Both were each awarded another roughly $36 million (£28.4 million) in other damages.

Mr Giuliani did not show emotion as the verdict was read in Washington's federal courthouse after about ten hours of deliberations.

Ms Moss and Ms Freeman hugged their attorneys after the jury left the courtroom and did not look at Giuliani as he left with his lawyer.

The judgment adds to growing financial and legal peril for Giuliani.

He has been among the loudest advocates of Trump’s false claims of election fraud that are now a key part of the criminal cases against he former president.

Mr Giuliani had already been showing signs of financial strain as he defends himself against costly lawsuits and investigations stemming from his representation of Trump.

His lawyer suggested the defamation case could financially ruin the former New York mayor, saying “it would be the end of Mr. Giuliani.”

And he is still facing his biggest test yet - fighting criminal charges in the Georgia case which accuses Trump and 18 others of attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election, won by Democrat Joe Biden, in that state.

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