In a surprising development, Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, has opted not to testify in his ongoing defamation trial.
Giuliani’s lawyer announced this unexpected decision on Thursday despite Giuliani previously being listed as a witness.
Giuliani reverses course on testifying in court
His decision marks a notable shift from earlier statements where he expressed a firm intention to share his side of the story in court.
Giuliani’s uncertainty about testifying emerged Wednesday night as he left the courthouse.
Giulliani’s unclear and ambiguous remarks
He had previously stated with certainty his plans to testify but later added a twist by saying, “I intend to, but you always leave them guessing.”
This comment left some ambiguity around his final decision.
The plaintiffs: Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss
Former Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, the mother-daughter duo, initiated the lawsuit against Giuliani two years ago.
They are seeking over $43.5 million in damages for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, civil conspiracy, and punitive damages.
Freeman and Moss detail threats post-Giuliani accusations
They were accused of election fraud in the 2020 presidential election, which led to a barrage of threats and harassment.
The emotional testimonies of Freeman and Moss have primarily characterized the trial. Both detailed the severe and racist threats they endured following Giuliani’s accusations.
Moss mentions mental health toll and career fallout from harassment
Moss shared her diagnosis of major depressive disorder and acute stress disorder, resulting from the relentless harassment. She spoke of her “dark moments” and her reluctance to venture out alone.
Moss also revealed her departure from the Fulton County Registration and Elections office in Georgia, where she became a “pariah” and missed a promotion opportunity.
Freeman shares harrowing experience
Freeman recounted the traumatic experience of receiving menacing messages filled with racial slurs and disturbing imagery.
She described how an email expressed a desire to see her and Moss hanged from the “Capitol dome,” with the sender close enough to “hear your necks snap.”
The onslaught of threats profoundly impacted Freeman, leading her to lament in court, “I don’t have a name no more,” as she struggled through tears.
Jury to decide compensation as Giuliani trial ends with twists
With Giuliani now refraining from testifying, the case moves forward to the jury of eight residents from Washington, D.C.
They are tasked with deliberating the compensation owed to Freeman and Moss after the closing arguments, concluding a trial marked by emotional revelations and unexpected turns.