Updated Dec 21, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Rudy Giuliani files for bankruptcy, facing mounting legal fees

Rudy Giuliani leaves court on Dec. 15 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Rudy Giuliani has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, per a Thursday court filing.

Why it matters: The filing comes as the former New York mayor and lawyer for former President Trump has been mired in debt stemming from multiple legal cases — most notably the $148 million he owes for defaming two Georgia election workers.

  • Giuliani estimated he has between $1 million and $10 million in assets, according to the filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
  • The filing lists roughly a dozen existing or potential debt claims totaling $153 million. Per an estimate in the filing, he owes up to 49 creditors.

What they're saying: "The filing should be a surprise to no one. No person could have reasonably believed that Mayor Rudy Giuliani would be able to pay such a high punitive amount," Ted Goodman, a spokesperson for Giuliani, said in a statement to Axios on Thursday.

  • "Chapter 11 will afford Mayor Giuliani the opportunity and time to pursue an appeal, while providing transparency for his finances under the supervision of the bankruptcy court, to ensure all creditors are treated equally and fairly throughout the process," Goodman said.

Details: In addition to the damages for making false statements after the 2020 election, Giuliani said he owes:

  • Nearly $1 million in federal and state taxes.
  • $388,000 in outstanding legal fees.
  • $3.4 million in potential liabilities from lawsuits that accuse him of failing to pay accountants, lawyers and phone bills, and lying about an incident at a Staten Island grocery store.
  • Unspecified amounts stemming from five more pending lawsuits, whose plaintiffs include Dominion Voting Systems, Hunter Biden and a woman who accused him of workplace harassment and sexual assault.

Catch up quick: A judge ruled Wednesday that Giuliani immediately start paying the $148 million he owes for defaming two Georgia election workers.

  • Last week, a jury had ordered Giuliani to pay Freeman and her daughter Moss as part of his alleged efforts to undermine the results of the 2020 presidential election.
  • Since then, the two election workers have sued Giuliani again in order to stop him from repeating claims that they engaged in election interference in 2020.
  • That injunction, if granted, would bar Giuliani from from speaking publicly about the two ever again.

Go deeper: Giuliani must immediately pay $148M to Georgia election workers, judge rules

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect Rudy Giuliani owes up to 49, not upwards of, creditors, per his bankruptcy filing.

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