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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Rudy Giuliani declares bankruptcy shortly after being told to pay $148M in defamation lawsuit

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NEW YORK — Rudy Giuliani’s financial troubles have reached a breaking point as he filed for bankruptcy on Thursday. The former New York City mayor cited severe financial strain, which was further exacerbated by his involvement in Donald ⁣Trump’s false ​2020 election claims and a jury’s award of ⁣$148 million to two former Georgia election workers he defamed.

Giuliani listed nearly⁣ $153 ‍million in existing or potential debts, including almost $1 million in tax liabilities, money he owes ‌lawyers,​ and many millions of ⁤dollars in potential legal judgments in lawsuits against him. On ‍the other hand, he‍ estimated he had assets in​ the ⁤range ⁤of $1 million to $10 million.

The eye-popping⁣ damages verdict​ that ⁣Giuliani was ordered to ⁣pay⁣ a week ago resulted from his false⁢ statements ‍about‌ the election workers. They said his ⁢targeting of them after ‌Trump narrowly lost Georgia to Democrat Joe Biden led to death threats⁤ that⁢ made them⁣ fear‍ for their⁢ lives.

Despite ​the⁣ bankruptcy filing, Giuliani’s political adviser and spokesman, Ted Goodman, stated‍ that the decision “should be a surprise to no one” and that it will‍ give Giuliani “the opportunity and time to pursue an appeal, while providing transparency for his finances under the supervision of the bankruptcy court, to⁤ ensure all creditors⁢ are treated equally and fairly throughout the process.”


No person could have reasonably believed that Mayor Giuliani​ would be able to pay ⁢such a high punitive amount.

– ‍Ted Goodman, Giuliani spokesman


However,​ declaring bankruptcy⁤ likely will not erase the $148 million in damages a jury‌ awarded to the​ former Georgia ⁤election workers, ⁣Ruby Freeman ⁤and Wandrea’ “Shaye” Moss. Bankruptcy ⁢law does⁤ not allow for ⁤the​ dissolution ‍of⁢ debts that come from a “willful and malicious‍ injury” ‌inflicted on someone ‍else.

Giuliani’s financial woes have worsened due to ‌investigations, lawsuits, fines, sanctions, and damages related to his work ‌helping Trump try to overturn the 2020 election.‍ Among his potential debts, he listed lawsuits brought ‌by two voting machine manufacturers who‌ say he and others defamed them⁢ with claims of a stolen election.

Giuliani’s bankruptcy filing did not detail ⁢his assets or how he has been​ making‌ money. The ex-mayor, ‍still somewhat popular⁣ among conservatives‍ and Trump ⁢loyalists, hosts a daily ​radio show​ in New York City and occasionally advertises products on social⁤ media. He also hosts a nightly streaming show, which he ‍calls ‍”America’s Mayor Live.” Both programs involve him pitching various products on⁤ air, such as giving a live demonstration of himself ​popping a vitamin pill ⁣he advertises.

After his Georgia indictment, he directed‍ social‌ media ‍followers to the website of his legal defense fund. ​To save ​money, Giuliani has represented ‌himself in ‍some ​legal matters.

In July, Giuliani ‌put his Manhattan apartment up for sale. He was ⁢initially asking $6.5 million for the three-bedroom residence a block from Central Park, but that might have proved a bit steep. Three months later, he ⁣trimmed his ask to $6.1 million. ‍The apartment still hasn’t sold.

In September, Trump hosted‌ a $100,000-a-plate fundraiser for Giuliani at his Bedminster, New⁢ Jersey, golf club. Giuliani’s⁢ son, Andrew, said the event was expected to⁣ raise more than $1 million for ⁤Giuliani’s legal bills.

Meantime, ⁢a ‍criminal trial awaits Giuliani in Georgia. Giuliani⁣ has pleaded not guilty ‍in the case, which accuses him of participating in a wide-ranging conspiracy to thwart the will of Georgia’s voters who had‍ selected Biden over Trump. Giuliani faces⁢ 13 charges, including violation​ of Georgia’s⁤ anti-racketeering law, the federal⁤ version of which ⁢was one of ⁤his favorite tools as prosecutor in ‍the⁤ 1980s.

Giuliani is also an alleged co-conspirator ⁣listed in the ‌federal case charging Trump ⁢with illegally working to overturn ⁣the results ⁤of the election. Giuliani is not charged in that case.

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