Trial expert says Giuliani caused $47.5 million in reputational damage to 2 election workers

Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ruled that Rudy Giuliani was liable for defaming two election workers. The judge ordered a trial to determine the damages Giuliani would have to pay. During testimony today, an expert witness told the court that the damage Giuliani caused to Wandrea "Shaye" Moss and her mother, Ruby Freeman's, reputation would cost $47.5 million to repair.

Following the 2020 election, Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani circulated a misleading video, falsely accusing Freeman and Moss of election fraud. Giuliani compared their handling of USB ports in the video to "passing around USB ports as if they were vials of heroin or cocaine" and engaging in "surreptitious illegal activity," although Moss clarified they were actually passing a ginger mint. Giuliani's accusations led to Freeman and Moss facing racist attacks and death threats, prompting FBI warnings about their safety.

In December 2021, Freeman and Moss filed a defamation lawsuit against Giuliani in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Giuliani was later ordered to pay $89,000 in attorney's fees in July 2023 for not providing evidence in the case. He admitted his statements were "defamatory per se" but denied causing any harm.

During a June 2022 testimony before the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, Moss recounted the racist threats they received following Giuliani's comments, including references to lynching. Freeman expressed her constant fear for safety, highlighting the impact of being targeted by the president. Moss emphasized the significant toll the false accusations took on her life, affecting her in "every way—all because of lies."

From Business Insider:

To repair the reputations of Weandrea "Shaye" Moss and her mother, Ruby Freeman, it would cost up to about $47.5 million, Ashlee Humphries [a professor of consumer sentiment at Northwestern University] said in a federal courtroom in Washington, D.C.

Humphries testified in Giuliani's trial Wednesday that she arrived at her calculations by studying the reach of 16 different statements at issue in the trial and looking at digital metrics to see how many people they likely reached. To reach a monetary figure, Humphries looked at how much it would cost for a sustained advertising and social media campaign to correct the record about Giuliani's falsehoods.