A former associate of Rudy Giuliani is suing him for sexual assault and other wrongdoing, accusing the former New York City mayor and Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer of hiring her to fulfill his desire for a sexual relationship.
In a civil complaint filed on Monday in a New York state court in Manhattan, Noelle Dunphy said Giuliani began abusing her almost immediately after hiring her in January 2019 as a director of business development and making clear that satisfying his sexual demands was an “absolute requirement” of her job.
Giuliani was for many years hailed as a heroic figure who became known as “America’s Mayor” for his response to the Sept. 11 attacks. He was also selected as Time magazine’s 2001 Person of the Year. However, later his image became tarnished as a result of various scandals during the Trump administration.
In 2019, when Giuliani hired Dunphy, he was “at the height of his influence, serving as the personal lawyer” for Trump, having “fashioned himself publicly as a major player in American politics, a successful businessman, and an important powerbroker” the lawsuit says.
“Giuliani presented himself as a generous employer and a hero,” the complaint said. “[H]e was neither…. Through this case, Ms. Dunphy seeks a measure of justice from a man who thought his power and connections rendered him untouchable.”
Dunphy also accused Giuliani of going on “alcohol-drenched rants that included sexist, racist, and antisemitic remarks” that made her work environment unbearable, and of firing her in January 2021 without paying the salary she had agreed to defer.
The lawsuit also included an allegation that Giuliani asked Dunphy “if she knew anyone in need of a pardon” because “he was selling pardons for $2m, which he and President Trump would split”.
The complaint added that he told Dunphy she could refer people seeking pardons to him as long as she avoided “the normal channels” of going through the office of the pardon attorney, a role within the Department of Justice, which could be subject to public disclosure.
The lawsuit seeks at least $10 million in damages from Giuliani and three of his namesake companies.
According to the complaint, Giuliani promised to pay Dunphy $1 million a year and represent her for free in separate legal matters concerning domestic abuse but said her pay had to be deferred and her employment kept secret because they might pose problems for his then-“acrimonious” divorce proceedings.
Dunphy said that given his powerful status, she felt “extreme pressure” to go along with Giuliani’s demands so she would not lose her salary or legal representation.
The document is filled with lurid allegations. Giuliani, it says, often demanded that Dunphy “work naked, in a bikini, or in short shorts with an American flag on them that he bought for her.
“When they were apart, they would often work remotely via videoconference, and … Giuliani almost always asked her to remove her clothes on camera. He often called from his bed, where he was visibly touching himself under a white sheet.”
In addition, he “often demanded oral sex while he took phone calls on speaker phone from high-profile friends and clients, including then-President Trump”.
Giuliani is alleged to have told Dunphy “he enjoyed engaging in this conduct while on the telephone because it made him ‘feel like Bill Clinton’”.
Dunphy had filed a related “summons with notice” against Giuliani in January, seeking $3.1 million.
On Monday, in a statement to the New York Daily News, a Giuliani representative said the former mayor “vehemently and completely denies the allegations in the complaint and plans to thoroughly defend against these allegations. This is pure harassment and an attempt at extortion.”