Rudy Giuliani, acting as his own lawyer, asks NYC court to toss suit by ex-ShopRite worker jailed for patting him on the back


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NEW YORK — Rudy Giuliani has asked a Manhattan federal court judge to toss a lawsuit brought by a former ShopRite worker alleging the ex-mayor’s bogus assault accusations derailed his life.

Acting as his own lawyer, Giuliani said comments he made that caused supermarket employee Daniel Gill to lose his job and land in jail were his legally permitted opinions.

The two men crossed paths in June 2022 as Giuliani was stumping for his son, Andrew, on Staten Island during his failed run for governor. CCTV footage of the incident in a Charleston ShopRite shows Gill approach Giuliani, give him a single pat on the back, and say something later confirmed to be, “What’s up, scumbag?”

Giuliani’s version painted a more dramatic scene.

“I got hit on the back as if a boulder hit me,” Giuliani claimed, later complaining of “wounds” suffered in the “attack.”

“It hurt tremendously. I did not know what it was. I had no idea what it was,” Giuliani said. “And all of a sudden I heard someone yell something at me, dirty curse words and some more dirty curse words as he retreated, ran away. Then he turned around and said I was a woman-killer.”

Gill was arrested and charged with felony assault, later seeing the charges downgraded to misdemeanors and ultimately dismissed and sealed. He didn’t get his ShopRite job back.

In his motion to dismiss Gill’s $2 million civil rights lawsuit late Monday, Giuliani defended his response.

“The video demonstrates that the ‘tap’ was made with enough force to startle Mr. Giuliani and that a lady standing next to Mr. Giuliani felt it necessary to rub Mr. Giuliani’s back immediately,” Giuliani wrote, referencing himself in the third person.

Giuliani said his comments that Gill, who was working at the time of the incident, was “a criminal” and “that he appeared high and drunk” were his protected opinions.

“The greater social context of the statement shows that Mr. Giuliani is expressing an opinion based on his views of the event that transpired,” Giuliani wrote.

Regarding his claim that Gill was “probably looking for an 85-year-old to knock over,” the former mayor told the court that was another opinion containing “hyperbole” and “in a jocular tone.”

“In other words, he is just a confusing, opinionated mumbler who no one should take seriously,” Gill’s lawyer, Ron Kuby, said Tuesday. “How silly of us to think he was making actual, factual assertions.”

Giuliani previously requested more time to respond to Gill’s claims as he searched for an attorney. It wasn’t clear whether he couldn’t find one or chose to save money by representing himself.

The former federal prosecutor, who is mired in several criminal and civil litigations, has reportedly been struggling to pay his legal fees. Giuliani’s New York law license was suspended in 2021 for his “false and misleading” claims about the 2020 election on behalf of his then-client, former President Donald Trump. In June, a panel of Washington, D.C., judges said he should face disbarment for filing frivolous suits on Trump’s behalf.

Giuliani recently put his $6.5 million Upper East Side home up for sale. Last week, CNN reported that he’d hit up Trump for cash, to no avail.

Gill’s suit is the least of Giuliani’s legal worries. He faces potential prison time in Georgia prosecutors’ RICO case for an alleged scheme to overturn the state’s 2020 election results. And he’s featured as a co-conspirator in the Justice Department’s Florida case for Trump’s handling of classified documents.

He’s also fighting suits by Noelle Dunphy, a former assistant, who has accused him of sexual harassment and at least one assault, and Smartmatic, a voting machine company accusing him of defamation, similar to the Dominion suit that ended in April with a $787 million settlement against Fox News. And he is yet to make his ex-wife, Judith Nathan, whole in their divorce.

Giuliani did not return calls seeking comment.


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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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