Trials & Litigation

Suit accuses Rudy Giuliani of sexually assaulting employee, promising—but not paying—$1M salary

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AP Rudy Giuliani September 2022_800px

Lawyer Rudy Giuliani, pictured here in September 2022, has been sued by a former female aide accusing him of sexual assault and harassment. Photo by John Nacion/Star Max/IPx via the Associated Press.

Lawyer Rudy Giuliani offered $1 million in annual pay to a woman he hired as the director of business development for his companies in 2019, but it was “a sham motivated by his secret desire to pursue a sexual relationship,” according to a lawsuit filed Monday.

The plaintiff, Noelle Dunphy, said Giuliani never paid her the promised salary, citing the need to defer the compensation during his acrimonious divorce. After she was hired, the suit said, Giuliani “made clear that satisfying his sexual demands—which came virtually anytime, anywhere—was an absolute requirement of her employment.”

Law360 and Reuters are among the publications with coverage of the May 15 suit, filed in New York state court in New York County.

Giuliani had also offered to represent Dunphy for free “in connection with an ongoing dispute arising from an abusive ex-partner,” the suit said.

“The chance to work for an influential politician once dubbed ‘America’s mayor,’ combined with the prospect of free legal representation by a former United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, was a rare opportunity that was simply too good to pass up,” the suit said.

The suit said Giuliani “drank morning, noon and night,” making his behavior unpredictable, and he “took Viagra constantly.” He often forced Dunphy to perform oral sex on him, the suit alleged. Later, he allegedly pressured her to have intercourse.

Giuliani sometimes paid Dunphy in increments of no more than $5,000 in cash to tide her over and keep her obedient to him, the suit said. She was paid no more than $12,000 for two years of work, she said.

At one point, Giuliani directed Dunphy not to talk to the FBI and asked Dunphy for help “Googling information about obstruction of justice,” the suit alleged. He also told Dunphy that the team for then-President Donald Trump would claim voter fraud if he lost the 2020 presidential election, according to the suit.

After the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, Dunphy texted Giuliani that the country had gone through chaos, and she felt scared of him. Giuliani sent Dunphy a text Jan. 31, 2021, that said he did not want to communicate with her anymore.

Causes of action in the suit include breach of contract, unjust enrichment, violation of New York labor laws, assault, battery, retaliatory discharge, sexual harassment and gender discrimination.

Giuliani spokesperson Ted Goodman told Reuters that Giuliani “unequivocally denies the allegations.”

A Giuliani representative told Law360 that the suit is harassment and an attempt at extortion.

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