Celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti walks out of a New York court house after a hearing in a case where he is accused of stealing $300,000 from a former client, adult-film actress Stormy Daniels on July 23, 2019 in New York City.
Michael Avenatti, a celebrity attorney who even briefly considered running for president of the United States, constantly made waves on most cable news stations.
He was most notably known for formerly representing Stormy Daniels, an American porn star who allegedly had a sexual encounter with former President Donald Trump.
But on Thursday, he broke down in tears as he was sentenced to more than two years in jail for trying to extort Nike for over $20 million by a Manhattan federal judge.
“Not only did Avenatti attempt to weaponize his law license and celebrity to seek to extort payments for himself, he also defrauded his own client. Avenatti will now serve substantial time in prison for his criminal conduct,” said Manhattan US Attorney Audrey Strauss in a statement about Avenatti’s 30-month sentence.
Per prosecutors, Avenatti’s plan to extort Nike was done by threatening to use the media influence that he obtained throughout the years to damage the big brand.
He was also slammed with 36 indictments, including nonpayment of taxes, false statements, fraud, and other things.
But it’s hard to grasp quite how far he’s fallen.
According to The Media Research Center, Avenatti has appeared on major news outlets 254 times in the year leading up to his crime. He was staunchly speaking out for Daniels during that time, but also fielding questions on potential presidential ambitions.
He appeared on CNN 121 times, 108 times on MSNBC, 12 on ABC, five on NBC, seven on CBS, twice on Fox News, and 24 times on other broadcast outlets.
That’s a lot.
Many of the interviews were conducted from March to June 2018 at the height of the Daniels case.
In May of 2018, Judge Kimba Wood had warned Avenatti that he would not be able to participate in the case of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen unless he stopped the public appearances. So instead of ceasing the TV tour, he decided to withdraw the motion to appear in the case.
Avenatti also faces other charges in New York for allegedly stealing almost $300,000 in 2019 from former client Daniels in a book deal, which he plead not guilty.
Her book Full Disclosure was published in October 2018.
He also has a fraud case in the state of California.
Daniels supported the conviction last year and kicked Avenatti to the curb as her lawyer in early 2019.
Additionally, she took to her Twitter to write this message about the latest news with her former lawyer.
“Can’t wait! Especially since his idiot attorney tried to use my job on a paranormal show and “witchcraft” as a reason to dismiss my evidence. Can you say discrimination? I’m so excited about finally getting my chance at him, ”she said.
Can't wait! Especially since his idiot attorney tried to use my job on a paranormal show and "witchcraft" as reason… https://t.co/qj8FyLyoBq