Disgraced lawyer Michael Avenatti had a tearful day in court on Monday as he was sentenced to 30 months in prison for attempting to extort footwear giant Nike to the tune of possibly as much as $25 million.
Avenatti had previously been in the public light as a lawyer for representing porn star Stormy Daniels in her failed lawsuit against former president Donald Trump.
Ironically, Daniels herself is now also claiming that Avenatti defrauded her, and has also had charges brought against him to wit, according to CNBC.
In fact, Avenatti was a vocal opponent of the then President on social media in general. He famously started the hashtag #basta (which means "enough" in Italian, Spanish and Portuguese), referring to Trump, although it appears the tables have turned:
The Daily Caller's Greg Price lamented that nobody caught the moment where Avanetti burst into tears on video, perhaps out of a sense of poetic justice:
Manhattan US District Court Judge Paul Gardgephe, during the sentencing hearing, provided the following comments:
“Mr. Avenatti’s conduct was outrageous,” said Judge Paul Gardgephe said in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, where he also sentenced Avenatti to three years of supervised release.
"He hijacked his client’s claims, and he used him to further his own agenda, which was to extort Nike millions of dollars for himself."
"He outright betrayed his client. Mr. Avenatti had become drunk on the power of his platform, or what he perceived the power of his platform to be."
Judge Paul Gardgephe did further add, however, that "Mr Avenatti has expressed what I believe to be severe remorse today," stating that, because of such, Avenatti's sentence is less than what federal authorities had recommended.
"I alone have destroyed my career, my relationships and my life. And there is no doubt I need to pay," stated a contrite Avanetti before the judge. "I am truly sorry for all of the pain I caused to Mr. Franklin and others."
(Gary Franklin is a basketball coach whom Avanetti coerced into letting himself be represented by Avanetti in furtherance of his scheme to extort Nike.)
Avanetti in 2019 sent a series of threatening letters to Nike's legal tema, threatening to "take 10 billion dollars off your client's market capitalization", using profanity and saying he was "not continuing to play games."
Avanetti still has two more federal criminal trials pending due to related federal charges.