Two Georgia election workers filed a defamation lawsuit Thursday against Rudy Giuliani and One America News Network (OAN), accusing them of spreading false claims about the workers’ actions in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election.
The suit was filed in Washington DC federal court by Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, a voter registration officer in Fulton County, and her mother Ruby Freeman, a temporary worker, according to multiple outlets.
The complaint alleges that Herring Networks chief executive Robert Herring, president Charles Herring and OAN reporter Chanel Rion falsely accused Moss and Freeman of miscounting ballots during several of the channel’s broadcasts. Herring Networks is OAN’s parent company.
The women also accused Giuliani, the former NYC mayor and onetime lawyer for former President Donald Trump, of making similar claims during his appearances on the network and on social media.
According to the complaint, OAN aired edited out-of-context surveillance footage of the two women counting ballots and and claimed they were attempting to tip the count in favor of Joe Biden. Last December, Georgia officials stated that the video showed “normal ballot processing.”
Freeman claimed that she was told by the FBI to leave her home after she received hundreds of harassing emails, texts, and calls once the claims aired.
“Both women are afraid to live normal lives,” the lawsuit reads. “Ms. Freeman is fearful when she hears her name called in public; Ms. Moss now fears risking even a visit to the grocery store and must get her groceries delivered instead. Defendants have inflicted, and continue to inflict, severe and ongoing emotional and economic damage.”
“They found themselves in this unenviable position not based on anything they did, but instead because of a campaign of malicious lies designed to accuse them of interfering with a fair and impartial election, which is precisely what each of them swore an oath to protect,” the complaint added.
Biden narrowly won the Peach State over Trump, who has repeatedly called for investigations into the state’s election results and alleged that massive voter fraud took place.
While Trump is not named as a defendant in the suit, the complaint does say that while “initial claims by the Trump campaign team were based only on short selections of the Trump Edited Video and did not name any individual Fulton County election workers, OAN and Giuliani were some of the first and only outlets and commenters to specifically name Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss, and they have continued to do so for more than a year.”
Freeman and Moss also recently filed a lawsuit against the far-right Gateway Pundit website, saying the outlet conducted “a campaign of lies.”
Robert Herring told Reuters that he was not concerned about the lawsuit filed Thursday, which comes in addition to several others the network faces.
“I know all about it and I’m laughing,” he told the outlet. “I’m laughing about the four or five others who are suing me. Eventually, it will turn on them and go the other way.”
OAN and Giuliani face multiple legal battles in light of their claims about the outcome of the 2020 election.
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