Rudolph Giuliani is sued by his former lawyer over $1.36 million in legal bills

Rudolph Giuliani surrounded by reporters with microphones
Rudolph W. Giuliani speaks outside the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta last month.
(Brynn Anderson / Associated Press)
Share via

Rudolph W. Giuliani’s former lawyer has sued him, alleging that he has paid only a fraction of nearly $1.6 million in legal fees racked up during investigations into his efforts to keep President Trump in the White House after losing the election.

Robert Costello and his law firm, Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP, say Giuliani has paid them just $214,000 and still has a $1.36-million tab. Giuliani’s last payment, according to the lawsuit, was $10,000 on Thursday — about a week after Trump hosted a $100,000-a-plate fundraiser for Giuliani at his Bedminster, N.J., golf club.

Costello and the firm say Giuliani breached his retainer agreement by failing to pay invoices in full in a timely fashion. The lawsuit, filed in state court in Manhattan, seeks full payment of Giuliani’s unpaid bills plus costs and fees from their efforts to get him to pay up.


“I can’t express how personally hurt I am by what Bob Costello has done,” Giuliani said Monday in a statement provided by his spokesperson. “It’s a real shame when lawyers do things like this, and all I will say is that their bill is way in excess [of] anything approaching legitimate fees.”

Monday’s lawsuit is the latest sign of Giuliani’s mounting financial strain, exacerbated by costly investigations, lawsuits, fines, sanctions and damages related to his work helping Trump try to overturn his 2020 election defeat.

Giuliani, Trump and 17 others were indicted last month in Georgia, accused by Fulton County Dist. Atty. Fani Willis of plotting to subvert Joe Biden’s election win. Giuliani has pleaded not guilty to charges alleging that he acted as Trump’s chief co-conspirator.

Like all good villains, Rudolph W. Giuliani, who continues to lie about a stolen election, seems at peace with what he’s become.

Jan. 19, 2021

Costello was Giuliani’s lawyer from November 2019 to July 2023. He represented Giuliani in matters including an investigation into his business dealings in Ukraine, which resulted in an FBI raid on his home and office in April 2021, and state and federal probes of his work in the wake of Trump’s 2020 election loss.

Costello and his firm said in their lawsuit that they also helped represent Giuliani in various civil lawsuits filed against him and in disciplinary proceedings that led to the suspension of his law licenses in Washington, D.C., and New York.

Giuliani could be on the hook for a massive financial penalty after a judge held him liable last month in a defamation lawsuit brought by two Georgia election workers who say he falsely accused them of fraud. The judge has already ordered Giuliani and his businesses to pay more than $130,000 in legal fees for the women.


Giuliani’s son, Andrew, said last week that the Bedminster fundraiser was expected to raise more than $1 million for the former New York mayor’s legal bills and that Trump had committed to hosting a second event at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Fla., in the coming months.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani avoids jail in an ongoing dispute over money he owes to his third wife as part of a divorce settlement.

Dec. 12, 2022

In the meantime, Giuliani has been trying to drum up cash in other ways.

In July, he put his Manhattan apartment up for sale for $6.5 million. After his indictment, he directed social media followers to the website of his legal defense fund. To save money, Giuliani has represented himself in some legal disputes.

Last year, a judge threatened Giuliani with jail in a dispute over money owed to Judith, his third ex-wife. Giuliani said he was making progress paying the debt, which she said totaled more than $260,000.

In May, a woman who said she worked for Giuliani sued him, alleging that he owed her nearly $2 million in unpaid wages and had coerced her into sex. Giuliani denied the allegations.