Michael Avenatti, the attorney who gained notoriety after being retained by adult film star Stormy Daniels in her legal battle against President Donald Trump, has been charged with extortion, per Reuters. Avenatti has been charged with extorting more than $20 million from Nike. A criminal complaint was filed by federal authorities in New York on March 25.
CNN reported that the lawyer allegedly met with an attorney for the sportswear apparel company Nike in March of 2019, and reportedly threatened to release damaging information about the company if Nike didn’t pay $1.5 million to both himself and another person. That person remains unnamed at the moment, per the CNN report.
“I’ll go take $10 billion dollars off your client’s market cap…I’m not f***ing around,” Avenatti stated, according to the complaint.
Avenatti tweeted — just one hour prior to the announcement of the charges against him — that he would be holding a press conference on March 26, wherein he would disclose a “major high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated by Nike.” He called the conduct of the footwear and apparel company “criminal,” and claimed that his announcement would involve some of the biggest names in college basketball. Shortly after his tweet, it was reported by Reuters that criminal charges were being put in place against the high-profile lawyer.
Tmrw at 11 am ET, we will be holding a press conference to disclose a major high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated by @Nike that we have uncovered. This criminal conduct reaches the highest levels of Nike and involves some of the biggest names in college basketball.— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) March 25, 2019
One of the members of the Trump family quickly clapped back in a series of tweets, wasting no time in expressing their pleasure at the recent turn of events.
Donald Trump Jr. sent out a storm of tweets directed towards Avenatti upon learning of the charges against the lawyer. He began by stating that it looked like Avenatti would be spending time behind bars, following up by saying that if Avenatti pleads fast enough in his case, the lawyer would be able to share a cell with onetime Trump fixer Michael Cohen.
BREAKING: Lawyer Michael Avenatti charged with attempting to extort more than $20 million from Nike - Justice Department pic.twitter.com/hMtBZJnqKj— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) March 25, 2019
Donald Trump Jr. then said that “karma was a b**ch.”
CNN reported that the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office revealed that a press conference would be forthcoming to discuss the charges against Avenatti.
CNBC revealed that Avenatti is also being charged in a separate federal case in Los Angeles, where he stands accused of embezzlement “in order to pay his own expense and debts.” Avenatti famously represented Stormy Daniels in her case against Donald Trump. Politico reported that the lawyer’s office terminated their relationship on February 19.
Below please find a further statement from my clients Alice and Angelo Clary in response to the R. Kelly interview. pic.twitter.com/eg9R7dt0l1— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) March 6, 2019
Avenatti is also representing six different parties in the R. Kelly case: two alleged victims, two “whistleblowers,” and two parents of alleged victims, according to People. There has been no word if the lawyer is still being retained by those parties since news of these latest charges against him has spread.