A High-Profile Trump Foe Is Sentenced

Attorney Michael Avenatti gets 2 and a half years for trying to extort Nike
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2021 2:28 PM CDT
Michael Avenatti Gets 2-Plus Years
Michael Avenatti arrives at Manhattan federal court Thursday.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Attorney Michael Avenatti was back in the spotlight Thursday in a bad way: He received a sentence of 2½ years in prison for trying to extort Nike:

  • Who? Avenatti is best known for representing Stormy Daniels in her legal fights against former President Trump while Trump was in office. Their client-attorney relationship did not end well.
  • The conviction: Avenatti's legal trouble has nothing to do with his Trump-centric work, however. The 50-year-old was convicted of trying to extort $20 million from Nike after threatening to expose purported corruption within the company's program for college-bound basketball players, reports the Wall Street Journal.

  • Tearful: "I alone have destroyed my career, my relationships, and my life," Avenatti said in court Thursday. "And there is no doubt I need to pay." CNBC reports that he broke down while delivering his statement.
  • Harsh words: "Mr. Avenatti’s conduct was outrageous," said Judge Paul Gardephe, adding that Avenatti "had become drunk on the power of his platform, or what he perceived the power of his platform to be." However, the judge gave Avenatti a much lighter sentence than he might have—prosecutors requested a "very substantial" punishment.
  • More to come: The AP notes that Avenatti, who once toyed with the idea of running for president on the Democratic ticket, has more trouble ahead: "He also faces the start of a fraud trial next week in the Los Angeles area, a second California criminal trial later this year, and a separate trial next year in Manhattan, where he is charged with cheating Daniels out of hundreds of thousands of dollars."
(More Michael Avenatti stories.)

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