Michael Avenatti, the former attorney of Stormy Daniels and famous Twitter personality has been sentenced to 30 months in connection with the Nike extortion case from March 2019. The events that led up to that charge included Avenatti attempting to extort Nike in regards to information with payments to college athletes, notably Zion Williamson. When originally charged, the attorney was looking at up to 100 years in prison.
In light of NIL rights coming to college athletes the attempt to extort the largest shoe brand on the planet seems a bit shortsighted. The celebrity attorney attempted to get up to $25 million from the Oregon-based shoe company. The judge, U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe let Avenatti have it calling the actions, “outrageous”.
Judge Gardephe went on further.
“[He] had beome drunk on the power of his platform, or what he perceived the power of his platform to be. He had become someone who operated as if the laws and the rules that applied to everyone else didn’t apply to him.”
Avenatti appeared remorseful over his actions, saying that, “all the fame, notoriety and money in the world is meaningless. TV and Twitter, your honor, mean nothing,” he said reportedly through tears.
Michael Avenatti gained fame for representing Stormy Daniels in 2018 against then-President Donald Trump. He made the rounds on the morning and weekend news circuits and gained a lot of Twitter notoriety.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t just Twitter fame that got to Avenatti. One of his clients, NBA player Hassan Whiteside, had $2.5M embezzled by the attorney. That report came out soon after he was arrested for the Nike issues. Throughout all of his dealings, he seemed to try only to enrich himself. He took from his clients, tried to make shady deals, and promoted himself on television and on social media like a bona fide celebrity.
Now, Avenatti will spend 2.5 years in prison for his threats to Nike.