Rudy Giuliani ordered to pay $148m for false accusations against election workers

Rudy Giuliani must pay more than $148m in damages to two former Georgia election workers after falsely accusing them of helping to rig the 2020 election against Donald Trump.

The jury found Giuliani owes the workers, Wandrea “Shaye” Moss and her mother Ruby Freeman, roughly $73m to compensate them for the reputational and emotional harm they suffered.

The former Trump lawyer and one-time New York mayor has also been ordered to pay $75m as punishment for his conduct.

There was an audible gasp in the courtroom when the jury foreperson read aloud the amount of damages.

Giuliani, who has said he will “certainly appeal” the verdict, did not appear to show any emotion.

A federal judge determined before the trial that Giuliani was liable for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and civil conspiracy.

The only question before the jury was how much in damages to impose on Giuliani, who helped Republican former President Trump advance his false claims of a stolen 2020 election.

The verdict came after three days of testimony in which Ms Moss and Ms Freeman described the racist and sexist messages, including threats of lynching, they received after Mr Trump and his allies spread false claims they were engaged in voter fraud.

“Mr Giuliani thought he could get away with making Ruby and Shaye the face of election fraud because he thought they were ordinary and expendable,” the workers’ lawyer Michael Gottlieb said during his closing argument.