Rudy Giuliani's accuser was entangled in a vicious domestic violence lawsuit when he promised to help — only to abuse her himself, court documents allege

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Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
  • Noelle Dunphy says she agreed to work for Giuliani when he promised a $1 million salary and free legal help.

  • At the time, Dunphy was embroiled in a messy court battle with a wealthy, "abusive" ex, court papers state.

  • Instead of helping, Giuliani was "aroused" by the details of her past abuse, she alleges in a lawsuit.

Rudy Giuliani's sex-assault accuser says in her lawsuit that she agreed to work for him because he was the personal lawyer for then-President Donald Trump — and he had promised to represent her for free in her own nasty, longstanding court battle with an allegedly abusive ex-boyfriend.

But instead of helping her, the Scotch-swilling, Viagra-popping Giuliani would become "aroused" as he plied her for details of her prior abuse, her lawsuit alleges.

And throughout her two years working as Giuliani's director of business development, from 2019 to early 2021, he sexually assaulted her himself — including while discussing the case with her — perpetuating a "cycle of abuse," she claims. Giuliani has denied the allegations made in the lawsuit.

"As Ms. Dunphy would soon learn, Giuliani's probing questions were not designed to help him provide legal advice," alleges Dunphy's lawsuit, filed Monday in state court in Manhattan.

"Rather, Ms. Dunphy would come to understand that Giuliani was aroused by discussing her sexual history and violent relationships. Ms. Dunphy did not know it yet, but Giuliani would force her to repeat the cycle of abuse she had suffered," the lawsuit alleges.

Insider has reviewed that protracted, previous court battle that Dunphy alleges Giuliani had promised to help her with — a series of lawsuits and counter-suits with a wealthy developer that careened for seven years through state and federal court in New York.

Insider is omitting key, identifying details, including the ex's name, in order to protect Dunphy's privacy as a sexual assault accuser. She first filed suit against her ex in 2015 as "Jane Doe."

Dunphy and her ex settled that lawsuit in October of 2016. But the aftershocks reverberated through the courts for another six years as she tried to back out of the settlement, as a federal appeals court forced it to be upheld, and as the developer ultimately refused to hand over the $10,000 he'd originally been ordered to pay her.

Giuliani's name indeed turns up in the court papers of that battle.

After a federal judge finally entered a judgment against Dunphy's ex last May — forcing him to pony up the $10,000 — Dunphy wrote a letter asking the judge to sanction Giuliani.

Dunphy told the judge that Giuliani was her "secret legal advisor for years" and gave directions to the lawyer of record who represented her in the case.

But Giuliani was slinging insults at her on Twitter and had revealed her true name in connection with the case, Dunphy alleged.

She asked the judge to fine Giuliani $10,000 per day, also citing the fact that he faced disciplinary proceedings for his law licenses in New York and Washington, DC because of his endorsement of election conspiracy theories.

"The lawyer is Rudy Giuliani, currently disbarred for unethical behavior such as inciting violence and/or lying and/or suggesting President Biden, Democrats and Republicans should be carried out as traitors if they don't blindly follow Trump," Dunphy wrote in the letter.

"I realize ongoing investigations against Trump and Giuliani are far more important than the case about me being assaulted by Defendant here," she wrote. "Yet the cases are now intertwined."

Dunphy sought Giuliani's help at a low point

According to Dunphy's current lawsuit against Giuliani, she first began working for him in January of 2019.

She notes that Giuliani was "at the height of his influence" by then, serving as then-President Donald Trump's personal lawyer. Giuliani offered his legal help to Dunphy as "an added inducement" to hire her, the lawsuit says,

"Giuliani also offered to provide pro bono legal representation to Ms. Dunphy in connection with an ongoing dispute arising from an abusive ex-partner," Dunphy's lawsuit against Giuliani says.

"To Ms. Dunphy, 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."

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Rudy Giuliani has been named in a workplace sexual abuse lawsuit.REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

As personal lawyer to a sitting president, Giuliani was certainly in a position of power as he hired Dunphy. But her case looked bleak at that point of the litigation, a review of court records shows.

She first filed her lawsuit against the developer in 2015. He filed a countersuit in 2016, making his own ugly counter-accusations of defamation, fraud, theft, and sexual improprieties.

According to a copy of their settlement agreement, which was reviewed by Insider, the real estate developer agreed to pay Dunphy the $10,000 in exchange for her waiving any claims against him. Both of them also agreed not to disparage each other, and to stay away from each other physically and virtually "in perpetuity."

Trying to back out of the settlement, Dunphy argued that her lawyer didn't adequately represent her interests, that she didn't understand what she was agreeing to, and that she had previously turned down a proposed settlement offer of $100,000.

In April of 2017, the federal judge overseeing the case ordered that the settlement be enforced anyway. An appellate court upheld the settlement as well, in January of 2019.

It was at this time, according to Dunphy's lawsuit, that she met Giuliani.

Giuliani took advantage of Dunphy's legal troubles, her lawsuit alleges

Far from helping Dunphy with her legal morass, Giuliani "abused his position as Ms. Dunphy's lawyer to pressure her into sex," her lawsuit claims.

"In one instance, for example, Giuliani promised Ms. Dunphy that he would give her $300,000 if she would forgo her legal rights in connection with her pending case and "f--- me like crazy," the lawsuit alleges.

During legal consultations concerning her case with her ex, Giuliani asked her for "extremely personal details relating to her past, including explicit details about prior sexual encounters," she alleges.

"Research," Giuliani called it.

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His accuser says Giuliani didn't pay her promised salary and demanded oral sex while she was on the phone with Donald Trump.REUTERS/Emily Elconin

His legal advice was sub-par and self-serving, she alleges.

"Giuliani told Ms. Dunphy that he wanted her to end her domestic violence litigation because he felt it was interfering with his sex life with her, and he did not want her to be 'distracted' by it," the lawsuit says.

In her letter to the judge, Dunphy wrote that Giuliani "preyed on" another considerably younger "vulnerable female" who was a victim of domestic violence. She said that "America can do better."

"We can't let the Court be an enabler for abusive men. I ask the Court to make a bold statement in defense of human rights," she said.

The judge denied her request for sanctions against Giuliani and closed the docket.

Soon afterward, she sued Giuliani directly.

Giuliani has denied Dunphy's allegations, and has insisted through a spokesman that "his lifetime of public service speaks for itself and he will pursue all available remedies and counterclaims."

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