NEW YORK (77 WABC) — The lawyer who gained fame for representing porn star Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against President Donald Trump has been convicted of trying to extort sportswear giant Nike. He was found guilty on all three counts.
The verdict against Michael Avenatti was returned Friday by a federal jury in Manhattan. It followed a three-week trial in which prosecutors claimed Avenatti made threats to use his media access to hurt Nike’s reputation and stock price unless the apparel company paid him up to $25 million.
He didn’t testify in the trial, but his lawyers said he was following the wishes of an amateur youth basketball league director who wanted him to force Nike to fire corrupt executives and fix its culture.
Nike lawyers, who took the stand during the trial, claimed Avenatti would hold a press conference announcing the company illegal paid players. In exchange for staying silent, prosecutors said Avenatti told lawyers that Nike would have to pay youth basketball coach Gary Franklin $1.5 million and hand Avenatti and another attorney $12 million. Nike would also have to set aside $15 to $25 million for an internal investgation, CNN reported.
I look forward to Michaels witty twitter retorts to the jury that just found him guilty in all counts. Though Im told he is still doing well amongst the Democrat primary contenders. #basta
MAGA: Michael Avenatti Going Away https://t.co/FfJ0OrZBfi
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 14, 2020
Of extorting @Nike.
Faces up to 42 years in prison.
— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) February 14, 2020