News & Opinion | June 1, 2018 1:33 pm

After His Meteoric Rise, Michael Avenatti Crashing Back to Earth

The TV-savvy trial lawyer is off the high-profile Trump payoff case and owes millions to creditors.

Michael Avenatti
Michael Avenatti is facing multiple charges of extortion. (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/ Getty)
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California trial lawyer Michael Avenatti has been making headlines for months representing Stephanie Clifford (a.k.a. Stormy Daniels) and the alleged payoff scandal unfolding around President Donald Trump and his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. But on Wednesday, inside a New York courtroom, a federal judge decide that she had heard enough from Avenatti, dressing him down for his incessant media appearances, reports The Wall Street Journal. That evening, Avenatti dropped out of the case involving Cohen and the federal investigation into payments made to Avenatti’s client, Daniels, who says she was paid off to keep quiet about a sexual relationship with Trump.

This setback for Avenatti represents the latest in a string of blows the previously rising star celebrity lawyer has faced. One day last week, his law firm, Eagan Avenatti LLP, and a company he started were hit with back-to-back court judgments ordering them to repay millions of dollars in outstanding debts. Meanwhile, throughout this year alone, more than a dozen creditors have gone to court to collect millions of dollars more in debts they allege are owed them by Avenatti, his law practice or his corporate entities.