Giuliani’s PR Guru Resigns as Legal Walls Close In

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JIm Watson/Getty
JIm Watson/Getty

As Rudy Giuliani navigates an increasingly lonely and stormy world amid a federal investigation and a billion-dollar defamation suit, he’ll now have to do so without his young but trusted communications director.

Christianné Allen, the 22-year-old MAGA influencer who joined Giuliani’s team in August 2019, has resigned her post at Giuliani Communications LLC effective this week, The Daily Beast has learned.

Allen says she has been replaced by Todd Shapiro, a former spokesperson for Lindsay Lohan’s family who also claims to have represented Trump properties, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), and Hooters of Long Island and New Jersey.

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Allen, who traveled extensively with Giuliani and spearheaded a number of efforts to modernize and expand the former New York mayor’s social media and digital presence, said in a statement that she felt “incredibly blessed” to have served the role, and was signing on with a new startup company whose name she wasn’t at liberty to reveal yet.

“As I reflect, I am proud of the accomplishments we achieved. One of which was building Rudy Giuliani’s Common Sense podcast from conception to one of the top political podcasts in the country in under a year,” she said. “Looking forward, I once again feel blessed to have the opportunity for continued growth and development within a rising tech startup.”

Allen boosted Trump’s 2016 campaign and went on to quickly ascend through the MAGA world. Giuliani hired her at age 20, while she was a student at Liberty University online, and she helmed his communications and social media efforts through a number of turbulent scandals.

Her tenure began amid the fallout from Giuliani’s Ukraine meddling and then-President Donald Trump’s 2019 impeachment. She was later at Giuliani’s side during the Hunter Biden laptop fiasco ahead of the 2020 election, as well as during the post-election litigation and PR blitz that ultimately cost Giuliani his license to practice law in Washington, D.C., and New York.

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Her resignation comes at a stressful time for Giuliani, who earlier this year laid off other staff under financial pressure from mounting legal bills. The former mayor must now navigate a PR team shake-up while fighting on several fronts, including civil suits related to his election challenges and a federal investigation into his alleged foreign influence work. At the same time, Giuliani finds himself increasingly isolated from the Republican Party, and his longtime friend former President Donald Trump seems to have all but abandoned him.

In an interview on Friday, Giuliani told NBC New York that he has not “gone off the rails” and is “not an alcoholic.”

Allen, whose rise was the subject of a 2019 Politico profile, told The Daily Beast that “to my knowledge, Federal Investigators have not contacted me.” She did not respond when asked whether her communications had been subpoenaed or shared with federal agents.

Prior to her hiring, Allen shared a curious connection with the 77-year-old Giuliani: Long Island personal injury attorney Charles Gucciardo. In September 2018, Gucciardo gave Giuliani Partners $500,000 structured as a loan to a sham company set up by Giuliani’s former collaborator in Ukraine disinformation, Lev Parnas. Allen, a Virginia native, interned for Gucciardo in 2016, spoke with him at an October 2016 Moms 4 Trump event at the ex-president’s D.C. hotel, and has maintained a friendship with him since.

Gucciardo, who has not been accused of wrongdoing, told The Daily Beast he and Allen were introduced to Giuliani independently.

The purported loan now appears in a federal criminal indictment against Parnas, who in 2018 and 2019 collaborated with Giuliani to try to dig up dirt on the Bidens in Ukraine. Giuliani has claimed his Ukraine work on Trump’s behalf was done free of charge.

After Parnas’ arrest in October 2019, Giuliani formed a company called Giuliani Media LLC—since changed to Giuliani Communications LLC—and in December of that year traveled to Ukraine on a “fact-finding” mission. He was accompanied on the trip by Allen and a camera crew from right-wing outlet One America News Network, which filmed his interviews with a number of officials while producing a propaganda documentary. (Allen’s friend, OANN correspondent Chanel Rion, also joined the trip.)

One official Giuliani met with was Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Derkach, who the U.S. government has dubbed an “active Russian agent for over a decade.” Upon Giuliani’s return, federal agents reportedly warned the White House he was the target of a foreign influence operation to spread Russian disinformation about Biden and his son, Hunter.

The following month, at the height of Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate, Giuliani’s Common Sense podcast—which Allen helped produce and promote—released an interview with former Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shokin, who had promoted disinformation about the Bidens.

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This March, a declassified U.S. intelligence assessment of 2020 election interference singled out an OANN Ukraine documentary as a disinformation effort produced by Russian agents.

Allen’s replacement, Todd Shapiro, has a far more sprawling and diverse client list. He has represented Lindsay Lohan’s family, and his website lists the New York Islanders, Cafe Kiev, and the aforementioned regional Hooters franchises. Shapiro also claims to have represented some Trump properties in the late 1990s.

The Daily Beast reached out to Shapiro for this article, and in an interview after publication he said he had been providing PR services to Giuliani for several months, adding it was “a great honor” to represent the man known as America’s Mayor.

“As we come on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, I will note that America, and the world, has respected and has always had praise for the integrity, the hard work, and the dedication as a public servant that Mayor Giuliani has given to our nation,” Shapiro said.

Asked what she’d taken away from her experiences in the trenches with Giuliani, Allen, a devout Christian, told The Daily Beast she was simply grateful for the opportunity.

“Truth be told, I just feel incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to work with Mayor Giuliani over the past two years. I am grateful for the life lessons, skills, and people I have had the privilege to meet,” Allen said. “God is good and faithful.”

Updated at 4:12 p.m., 8/30/2021 with comment from Todd Shapiro

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