Rudy Giuliani has filed for bankruptcy, days after being ordered to pay 148 million dollars (£116m) in a defamation lawsuit.

The former New York City mayor listed nearly 153m dollars (£121m) in existing or potential debts.

Those included hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax liabilities, money he owes his lawyers and many millions of dollars in potential legal judgments in lawsuits against him.

The biggest of those is the 148m dollars he was ordered to pay a week ago for making false statements about election workers in Georgia stemming from the 2020 presidential contest.

Giuliani Bankruptcy Filing
Rudy Giuliani lost a defamation case (Jose Luis Magana/AP)

He estimated his assets to be between 1 million and 10 million dollars.

Ted Goodman, a political adviser and spokesperson for Mr Giuliani, a one-time Republican presidential candidate and high-ranking Justice Department official, said in a statement that the filing “should be a surprise to no one”.

“No person could have reasonably believed that Mayor Giuliani would be able to pay such a high punitive amount,” Mr Goodman said.

He said the bankruptcy filing would give Mr Giuliani “the opportunity and time to pursue an appeal, while providing transparency for his finances under the supervision of the bankruptcy court, to ensure all creditors are treated equally and fairly throughout the process”.

But declaring bankruptcy will not erase the 148m dollars in damages a jury awarded to the former Georgia election workers, Ruby Freeman and Wandrea’ “Shaye” Moss.

Bankruptcy law does not allow for the dissolution of debts that come from a “wilful and malicious injury” inflicted on someone else.

Last week’s jury verdict was the latest and costliest sign of Mr Giuliani’s mounting financial strain, exacerbated by investigations, lawsuits, fines, sanctions, and damages related to his work helping then-Republican president Donald Trump try to overturn the 2020 election that he lost to Democrat Joe Biden.

Giuliani Election Trial
Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, left, and her mother Ruby Freeman, right, were awarded damages (Alex Brandon/AP)

In September, Mr Giuliani’s former lawyer Robert Costello sued him for about 1.4 million dollars in unpaid legal bills, alleging that Mr Giuliani breached his retainer agreement by failing to pay invoices in full and a timely fashion.

Mr Giuliani has asked a judge to dismiss the case, claiming he never received the invoices at issue. The case is pending.

Mr Costello represented Mr Giuliani from November 2019 to this past July in matters ranging from an investigation into his business dealings in Ukraine, which resulted in an FBI raid on his home and office in April 2021, to state and federal investigations of his work in the wake of Mr Trump’s 2020 election loss.

In August, the Internal Revenue Service filed a 549,435 tax case against Mr Giuliani for the 2021 tax year.

Copies were filed in Palm Beach County, Florida, where he owns a condominium and New York, under the name of his outside accounting firm, Mazars USA LLP.

That is the same firm that Mr Trump used for years before it dropped him as a client amid questions about his financial statements.

Mr Giuliani, still somewhat popular among conservatives in the city he once ran, hosts a daily radio show on a station owned by a local Republican grocery store magnate.

Mr Giuliani also hosts a nightly streaming show watched by a few hundred people on social media, which he calls America’s Mayor Live.