US District Judge Paul Gardephe sentenced Michael Avenatti, ex-celebrity lawyer, now criminal defendant, to 30 months in prison for attempting to extort Nike for millions of dollars. He was convicted back in February 2020 for threatening to publicly accuse the sportswear company of illicitly paying amateur basketball players unless Nike paid him.
According to CNN, after initial conversations with Avenatti, Nike’s lawyers had approached prosecutors about what they believed was his attempt to extort them. The FBI secretly recorded subsequent conversations between Avenatti and the Nike lawyers, and the colorful quotes, many of which the judge read aloud Thursday, formed the basis for the indictment.
The Judge accused him of being “drunk with power” and said his actions were “outrageous.”
Avenatti gained his fame when he started representing Stormy Daniels (who claimed to have an affair with Donald Trump before he became President).
“I betrayed my own values, my friends, my family and myself,” he said. “I, and I alone, have destroyed my career, my relationships, my life.”
Avenatti was very apologetic in court during the sentencing. Hopefully the loss of his license and his time away in prison will help him be a better person.