Giuliani defamation trial live updates: Jury awards election workers nearly $150 million

The amount is three times as much as plaintiffs were seeking.

Following a week-long trial, a federal jury has ordered former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to pay nearly $150 million to former Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and Wandrea "Shaye" Moss for defaming them with false accusations that the mother and daughter committed election fraud while the two were counting ballots in Georgia's Fulton County on Election Day in 2020.

U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell in August awarded a default judgment to the two women, leaving the trial to determine the full scope of the damages and penalties. Freeman and Moss were seeking between $15.5 million and an amount in the $40 million range.

Freeman, though thankful, says 'money won't solve all my problems'

Former election worker Ruby Freeman told reporters that "today is a good day," but cautioned that "money will never solve all of my problems" after Rudy Giuliani targeted her and her daughter with defamatory statements.

"I will always have to be careful about where I go and who I will be able to share my name with," Freeman said of her need to remain anonymous due to the fear of threats. "I miss my name."

"A jury stood witness to what Rudy Giuliani did to me and my daughter … for that I am thankful," said Freeman. But, she said, "I want people to understand this: Money will never solve all of my problems."

Freeman's daughter, Shaye Moss, said that "the flame Giuliani lit with those lies … changed every aspect of our lives."

"We hope no one ever has to fight so hard just to get your name back," Moss said.

"Our greatest wish is that no one … ever experiences anything like what we went through" Moss added.

Giuliani says he couldn't 'present evidence,' will appeal decision

Speaking to reporters outside court, Rudy Giuliani said he didn't have "an opportunity to present evidence" and that he plans to appeal the decision.

"Obviously we will move for a new trial, we will certainly appeal," Giuliani said.

When asked by reporters why he didn't testify, Giuliani said he believed the judge was threatening him with contempt.

"I didn't testify because the judge made it clear that if I made any mistake or did anything wrong, she was considering contempt," Giuliani said.

"I have no doubt that my comments were made and they were supportable and supportable today. I just did not have an opportunity to present the evidence that we offered," he said.

Judge Beryl Howell on Tuesday admonished Giuliani for making "additional defamatory comments" about Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss late Monday when he told ABC News' Terry Moran that he stands by his statements that the two women "were engaged in changing votes."

Those comments "could support another defamation claim," Howell told Giuliani, who subsequently elected not to testify in the case.

-Katherine Faulders

Giuliani shows no emotion when award is read

As a juror read that Rudy Giuliani will have to pay nearly $150 million in defamation damages, he showed no emotion.

Giuliani looked at the jurors while the verdict was being read and then turned his attention to his tablet.

On the other side of the courtroom, Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss sighed heavily and shared a smile with their attorneys.

Award includes emotional distress, punitive damages

The jury awarded Ruby Freeman $16,171,000 and Shaye Moss $16,998,000.

In addition, jurors awarded each of the woman $20 million for emotional distress.

Finally, they awarded them a total of $75 million in punitive damages, for a total award of nearly $150 million.

The amount is approximately three times the $48 million the plaintiffs were seeking.

Moss, through tears, describes life after Giuliani's accusations

Shaye Moss felt dejected and fearful after Rudy Giuliani's defamatory statements and accusations about her proliferated online -- prompting the veteran election worker to change her appearance and leave her job.

John Langford, an attorney for Moss, displayed emails and messages she received on social media in late 2020, as her name circulated online in right-wing media. One read, "Be glad it's 2020 and not 1920."

The chilling message, which she said made her "afraid for my life," prompted her to assume a new physical identity.

"I went into my hair salon and I asked my stylist to make it so the same person she saw walk in here is not the person who leaves," Moss recalled.

Her stylist, she said, "dyed it a strawberry blond color." A selfie Moss took the following day showed her with a "puffy face from crying all night."

Though her hair changed, Moss said she returned to work after "the worst Christmas" of her life, determined to return to normalcy. "My goal was still to make sure that everything was ready for our next election, that everything ran smoothly," she testified.

Instead, she recalled, "Things ain't never returned to normal."

Moss left the Fulton County elections office in April 2022 after she was passed over for a promotion. "It felt like a slap in the face," she said, because she sensed that her superiors thought it would look bad for the county.

"I wanted to retire a county worker, like my grandma -- make her proud, make my mom proud -- but..." she said, trailing off in tears.

Rudy Giuliani, seated at the defense table, showed little emotion as Moss wept on the witness stand. Leaning with his elbow on the table, the former mayor took intermittent notes as she testified.

-ABC News' Lucien Bruggeman and Laura Romero