Donald Trump’s associate and former lawyer Rudy Giuliani has filed for bankruptcy just days after he was ordered to pay $148m (£116m) for defaming two election workers.
His spokesperson said the move will give him time to appeal against the punishment and ensure other creditors are treated fairly.
It’s not clear how the filing will impact his payments, as US bankruptcy law does not allow debts to be wiped off when they are the result of a “wilful and malicious injury” inflicted on someone else.
A lawyer for the two women Mr Giuliani defamed said bankruptcy would not rule out the debt, while a judge said on Wednesday he must begin paying immediately so he does not try to conceal assets.
“No person could have reasonably believed that… Rudy Giuliani would be able to pay such a high punitive amount,” his spokesperson, Ted Goodman, said.
In a filing in the US Bankruptcy Court in New York, Mr Giuliani said he had between $100m and $500m in liabilities and $1m to $10m in assets.
The former New York mayor owes the two women around $73m (£57m) for reputational damage and emotional harm, with another $75m (£59m) owed as punishment.
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Trump’s former lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to pay $148 million in defamation case.
The case stems from two women Mr Giuliani accused of fraud following Donald Trump’s presidential election loss in 2020.
The two former election workers, Wandrea “Shaye” Moss and her mother Ruby Freeman, faced threats after Mr Giuliani falsely claimed they were engaged in voting fraud.
He has repeated those claims following the 15 December verdict even though he has admitted in court that they were defamatory, which has prompted the two workers to file a second lawsuit.
Mr Giuliani also faces criminal charges of election subversion in Georgia – along with Mr Trump and more than a dozen other co-defendants – and has pleaded not guilty.
He was once known as “America’s mayor” for his leadership following the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre in New York on 11 September 2001.
He was even named Time magazine’s Person of the Year following the attacks.
But his efforts to keep Mr Trump in office drew ridicule, particularly when he scheduled a press conference at a “Four Seasons” in Philadelphia that turned out to be a landscaping company, not a luxury hotel.
At another news conference, a dark substance, suspected to be hair dye, dripped down his face.
He called for “trial by combat” at a rally for Mr Trump’s supporters on 6 January 2021, shortly before thousands of them attacked the US Capitol in an effort to prevent Congress certifying the defeat.
Written by: Newsroom