MICHAEL Avenatti, the lawyer for porn star Stormy Daniels in her suit against Donald Trump, has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for attempting to extort $20million from Nike.
Here's all you need to know about the American lawyer.
Who is Michael Avenatti?
Avenatti is a high-powered lawyer with a long career of securing big wins for his clients, and as such, it's not terribly surprising that he'd be a multi-millionaire.
Avenatti, 50, was all but unknown until two years ago when he began representing porn star Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against Donald Trump.
But criminal fraud charges on two coasts disrupted Avenatti’s rapid rise to fame.
He was found guilty in a fraud trial relating to an attempt to extort up to $25million from Nike and faces and a separate trial in 2022 in Manhattan, where he is charged with cheating Daniels out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
California prosecutors said Avenatti was enjoying a $200,000-a-month lifestyle while cheating clients out of millions of dollars and failing to pay hundreds of thousands to the Internal Revenue Service.
Charges alleging he cheated Daniels out of proceeds from a book deal followed weeks later.
Avenatti pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Why has Michael Avenatti been jailed?
Avenatti was convicted on charges that he tried to extort up to $25million from sportswear giant Nike when he represented a Los Angeles youth basketball league organizer upset that the sport giant had ended its sponsorship.
In March 2019, he threatened to go public with evidence that the company had bribed amateur basketball players and their families unless he received a payout.
The celebrity lawyer, 50, was found guilty on February 14.
On July 8, 2021, Avenatti cried as he was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison.
What is Michael Avenatti's net worth?
How much Avenatti is precisely worth isn't public knowledge.
A race car driver with expensive taste and a high-end lifestyle, Avenatti has been estimated to be worth about $20million, around £15.5million.
He has won more than $1billion in judgements for clients in high profile cases, with the biggest win for Avenatti the $454million (£355million) 2017 fraud verdict against Kimberly-Clark’s company Halyard Health.
Avenatti reportedly owned a $12.6million (£10m) house in Laguna Beach, California, which he sold in 2015, according to real estate website Virtual Globetrotting.
When did Michael Avenatti represent Stormy Daniels?
Avenatti represented porn star Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against President Donald Trump, making hundreds of television appearances.
Stormy, the pornographic film producer, director and actor, was at the centre of a high-profile scandal in which she claims to have had sex with Trump and paid $130,000 in hush money over it during the 2016 election.
Daniels, however, sued Trump in 2018 to be released from the agreement after his election.
The suit was dismissed when it was determined the NDA was not enforceable.
Trump and his administration denied Trump personally knew about the hush money until the president ultimately admitted he paid Cohen for the Daniels payment, the Associated Press reported.
His lawyers argued that Daniels didn’t sufficiently prove the president’s involvement in the deal.
However, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert B. Broadbelt ruled that sufficient evidence showed both parties made the non-disclosure agreement under pseudonyms, “David Dennison” for Donald Trump and “Peggy Peterson” for Stormy Daniels.
Who is Avenatti's ex-wife Lisa Storie?
Mr Avenatti married Lisa Storie in 2011.
Storie filed for divorce, in 2017.
They have one son together, Tino, while he also has two teenage daughters from a previous marriage.
According to December 2018 court documents, Avenatti agreed to pay Lisa $80,000 in child support and gave her ownership of several expensive assets.
However, Storie has claimed her former spouse has tried to duck support payments and stall their divorce.
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