Lawyer Michael Avenatti Arrested for Attempting to Extort $20 Million From Nike

Written by on March 25, 2019

Michael Avenatti, the lawyer best known for representing adult film star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Donald Trump, has been arrested for trying to extort $20 million from Nike.

This news comes moments after Avenatti took to Twitter to announce that he would be holding a press conference on March 26 to unearth details of a widespread scandal involving Nike and “some of the biggest names in college basketball.

A press conference to discuss the charges against Avenatti is scheduled to take place later this afternoon at 2:30 p.m. ET. Stay tuned as more updates become available.

Nike has provided an official statement regarding Avenatti’s alleged extortion scheme to sports business reporter Darren Rovell. “Nike will not be extorted or hide information that is relevant to a government investigation,” the statement partially reads. “Nike firmly believes in ethical and fair play, both in business and sports, and will continue to assist the prosecutors.”

According to CNN reporter Erica Orden, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York has charged the lawyer for “attempting to extract more than $20M in payments from a publicly traded company by threatening to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial & reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met.”

“I’ll take $10 billion of your client’s market cap … I’m not f–king around.” Avenatti allegedly told a Nike attorney, according to a recently filed complaint.

Daniels, the woman largely responsible for Avenatti’s rise to fame, has since commented on the arrest of her former attorney. “I am saddened but not shocked by news reports that he has been criminally charged today. I made the decision more than a month ago to terminate Michel’s services after discovering he had dealt with me extremely dishonestly and there will be more announcements to come.”

Key Points
  • Celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti is arrested on charges of trying to extort up to $25 million from Nike by threatening to reveal negative publicity.
  • Avenatti also is charged in a separate federal case of embezzling a client’s money “in order to pay his own expense and debts,” and of “defrauding a bank in Mississippi.”
  • Avenatti represented porn star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuits against President Donald Trump and his former lawyer Michael Cohen related to a nondisclosure agreement she had signed on the eve of the 2016 presidential election to keep quiet about her alleged affair with Trump.

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