News & Opinion | March 26, 2019 9:40 am

Michael Avenatti Accuses Nike of “Crime and Coverup” While Denying Extortion Charge

Stormy Daniels' lawyer allegedly tried to extort up to $25 million from the company.

Michael Avenatti Found Guilty On All Counts at Nike Extortion Trial
Michael Avenatti, the former lawyer for adult film actress Stormy Daniels, in 2019. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
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The day after he was charged with attempting to extort Nike for more than $20 million, Michael Avenatti denied the allegation and went on the offensive.

In a series of early-morning tweets, Avenatti – who represented Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Trump – said he is “anxious for people to see what really happened” and for the evidence to be disclosed.

Once that happens, Avenatti said, “the public will learn the truth about Nike’s crime & coverup.”

Then, he got a little more aggressive.

The player he mentions, 20-year-old DeAndre Ayton, was the first overall pick in the most recent NBA Draft and currently plays for the Phoenix Suns. He played his college ball at Arizona, a school which has been investigated for illegal recruitment practices.

Prosecutors allege Avenatti threatened to bring damaging allegations against Nike to light before the NCAA basketball tournament. He allegedly offered his silence in exchange for a payment of up to $25 million from the company.

In a separate federal case, Avenatti was also charged with bank and wire fraud for allegedly embezzling a client’s money “to pay his own expenses and debts.”

If convicted in both cases, Avenatti is facing substantial prison time as well as disbarment.