Stormy Daniels is not surprised that Michael Avenatti has been arrested and hints that there is more to come about her former lawyer, once an integral member of “Team Stormy.” Daniels’ loaded statement came via Twitter.
“Knowing what I know now about Michael Avenatti, 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 Michael’s services after discovering that he had dealt with me extremely dishonestly and there will be more announcements to come. I ask that the media respect my decision to withhold further public comment regarding Mr. Avenatti at this time.”
Avenatti came to national attention after representing Stormy Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, in a lawsuit against President Donald Trump. Daniels and Avenatti alleged that a nondisclosure agreement she had signed about an extra-marital affair was invalid because Trump had not personally signed the form. The suit was dismissed on October 15, 2018, and Daniels was required to pay Trump’s legal fees.
However, it appeared that Avenatti was always more focused on self promotion than his legal obligations. Avenatti became a media fixture, appearing on CNN and MSNBC over 108 times within a two month period. He also announced his candidacy for president, in move that was widely ridiculed.
The cracks in his relationship with Daniels began after he was arrested for domestic abuse in November 2018. At the time, Daniels stated that she would seek new representation should the allegations prove true.
Later that month, Daniels gave an exclusive to The Daily Beast, lambasting Avenatti’s behavior as her lawyer.
“Michael has not treated me with the respect and deference an attorney should show to a client. He has spoken on my behalf without my approval. He filed a defamation case against Donald Trump against my wishes. He repeatedly refused to tell me how my legal defense fund was being spent.”
Daniels also complained that Avenatti had used her name and image without permission for a crowdfunding campaign, in addition to attributing words to her that she claimed she had not said.
At the time, many legal analysts noted that Avenatti had acted illegally if he had filed a case without Daniels’s consent. New York University law professor Stephen Gillers told The Daily Beast that Daniels could sue Avenatti for for malpractice.
Despite the interview, the two seemingly managed to repair their relationship until news of their professional split hit the news on March 12. Avenatti tweeted that he had ended his representation of Daniels on February 12 for “reasons that we cannot disclose publicly due to attorney-client privilege.”
Daniels hit back at his statement at The Wing, a co-working and event space for women in Washington. “How adorable is that?” she told an audience of over a hundred women.
“It pains me to not be able to share at this very moment.”
After claiming that she was “very dissatisfied” with Avenatti’s work, Daniels has found new legal representation with Clark Brewster, a lawyer based in the Southwest who describes himself as a criminal defense attorney. Daniels has also hinted at further legal action, though it is unclear whether the target is Avenatti or Trump.
At present, Avenatti is charged with embezzlement and trying to extort Nike for over $20 million in two separate cases that span both coasts. He has since posted bail and insists that he will be found innocent of all charges.
Daniels has not tweeted anything since her last statement. However, she had been retweeting Avenatti as recently as March 7. She has not said when her tease of further announcements will come.