Celebrity lawyer Avenatti sentenced to 30 months

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on July 8, 2021 - Duration: 01:32s

Celebrity lawyer Avenatti sentenced to 30 months

Michael Avenatti was convicted for threatening to expose Nike's alleged corrupt payments to families of college basketball prospects unless it forked over up to $25 million for him and another lawyer to conduct an internal probe.

This report produced by Jonah Green.


Celebrity lawyer Avenatti sentenced to 30 months

Michael Avenatti, the brash lawyer who shot to fame representing porn actress Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against then President Donald Trump, was sentenced to 2-1/2 years in prison on Thursday for trying to extort Nike.

U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe in Manhattan said Avenatti "had become drunk on the power of his platform" in betraying his client, a youth basketball coach, in order to obtain riches for himself.

Avenatti was convicted for threatening to expose Nike's alleged corrupt payments to families of college basketball prospects unless it forked over up to $25 million for him and another lawyer to conduct an internal probe.

Recordings showed Avenatti telling Nike lawyers he would "blow the lid" on the sportswear company and wipe $10 billion off its market value unless it bowed to his demands.

Avenatti was also convicted of defrauding the coach, Gary Franklin.

Prosecutors said Avenatti was counting on a big payday to cover his own debts.

Nike has denied wrongdoing.

Before being sentenced, Avenatti got choked up as he admitted to having "lost his way," and apologized to Franklin and others.

The sentencing caps a precipitous downfall for a once-obscure lawyer who in 2018 became a cable news fixture, disparaging then-President Trump and even flirting with a White House run himself - before a swirl of criminal charges ended his legal career.

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