Rudy Giuliani attorney discussed settlement with sexual abuse accuser Noelle Dunphy, lawyer says

Rudy Giuliani
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.Mary Altaffer/Associated Press
  • Rudy Giuliani discussed a settlement with accuser Noelle Dunphy, his lawyer said in court.

  • Dunphy alleges he sexually assaulted her repeatedly while she worked for him in 2019 and 2020.

  • After this story was initially published, Giuliani's spokesperson said a settlement would have been limited to a fee dispute.

A lawyer for Rudy Giuliani discussed a settlement in a civil lawsuit brought against him by Noelle Dunphy, the woman who alleges the former New York City mayor serially sexually assaulted her over the course of a year.

Giuliani's attorney, Adam S. Katz, mentioned the settlement discussions in passing during a court conference on Friday.

Katz was arguing that Giuliani shouldn't be forced to pay fees for improperly trying to move Dunphy's lawsuit from Manhattan state court to federal court. Justin Kelton, a lawyer for Dunphy, asked a federal judge to sanction Giuliani's legal team and make them cover court fees after they missed a court deadline and incorrectly stated that Dunphy had a Florida driver's license.

"Without divulging settlement communications, the fee application that Mr. Kelton and plaintiffs are seeking makes it cost-prohibitive for us to not move forward with this," Katz said in the hearing.

Katz didn't respond to Insider's request for comment. After this story was initially published, Ted Goodman, a spokesperson for Giuliani, said any settlement would have been limited to the potential fees and reiterated his denial of Dunphy's allegations.

"Mr. Giuliani is not engaged in any settlement conversations with Ms. Dunphy. That is categorically false," Goodman said. "The only discussion of settlement related to resolution over the fee dispute related to Ms. Dunphy's remand motion."

Dunphy filed the lawsuit against Giuliani in New York state court in May, alleging the former New York City mayor sexually abused her and failed to pay her a promised salary while she worked for him as an assistant throughout 2019 and 2020.

The 70-page lawsuit included lurid allegations that Giuliani demanded her to perform oral sex while he was on the phone with Donald Trump and asked her "for help in Googling information about obstruction of justice" while he was under criminal investigation by the FBI.

Giuliani has denied the allegations and called Dunphy untrustworthy, citing a past dispute with a previous partner who she alleged abused her.

Katz also asked the state court judge assigned to the case to strike parts of her lawsuit referencing his appearance in the second "Borat" movie, comparisons to an unethical lawyer from the Showtime series "Billions," allegations of affairs, allegations about arranging the sale of presidential pardons, and references to discriminatory remarks about minorities — all of which he said were false or irrelevant to Dunphy's sexual assault allegations.

The case was sent back to New York state court

In June, Katz tried to move the case to federal court. US District Judge Edgardo Ramos sent the case back to state court during the court conference on Friday, after Katz backtracked on the move.

Ramos decided not to fine Giuliani or award Dunphy any legal fees, deciding that the litigation didn't go far enough in federal court to amount to substantial costs and noting that Katz filed a follow-up letter correcting the record about Dunphy not having a Florida driver's license.

"I'm not going to impose fees," Ramos said at the Friday hearing. "As Mr. Katz indicated, as soon as the facts were made aware, the defendant properly corrected the record. They essentially admitted their error."

Kelton declined to comment on any settlement talks. He told Insider that he looks "forward to prosecuting this case in New York State Court where it belongs."

"We are grateful that the Giuliani Defendants were forced to admit their errors, which led to Judge Ramos immediately ordering this case back to New York State Court," Kelton said in an email. "While the Giuliani Defendants should never have removed this case to federal court, Judge Ramos' quick decision today was a complete victory for Ms. Dunphy and a rejection of the Giuliani Defendants' meritless procedural gamesmanship."

Dunphy's lawsuit is one of many legal headaches for Giuliani, which mostly stem from his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

He is a defendant in ongoing defamation lawsuits from Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems for pushing false conspiracy theories alleging they changed votes from Trump to now-President Joe Biden. Investigators working for Justice Department Special Counsel Jack Smith have interviewed him regarding efforts from Trump and his allies to keep Trump in power even though he lost the election. And, also on Friday, the Washington, DC, Bar ethics panel recommended that he be disbarred for his efforts to cancel votes in Pennsylvania and hand Trump an electoral victory in that state even though he lost it to Biden.

This story has been updated.

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