Meet Michael Avenatti, the former star lawyer now facing multiple federal charges who was just arrested again for violating his pretrial conditionsGet the Full StoryAP Photo Joe Frederick
Michael Avenatti is an attorney whose most famous client was Stormy Daniels.
He has inserted himself into the national conversation, often making claims about high-profile people, including President Donald Trump, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and R. Kelly.
Avenatti was also considering a 2020 presidential bid, but ruled it out after suffering numerous legal and professional setbacks.
A federal judge ruled against him in Daniels' defamation suit against Trump, he was referred to the FBI on accusations of lying to Congress, he was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, and on March 25, New York federal prosecutors charged Avenatti with attempting to extort more than 20 million from Nike.
Here's a look at his career, and claims he's made over the last several months.
Michael Avenatti may have been the most high-profile lawyer in America for a moment. The 48-year-old litigator has made headlines largely thanks to his former client, porn star and director Stormy Daniels.
Just days before the 2016 US election, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen arranged a 130,000 payment to Daniels to keep her silent about an affair she says she had with Trump in 2006.
Avenatti sued the president, on Daniels' behalf, accusing Trump of invalidating a non-disclosure agreement, and of defaming Daniels.
Appearing on dozens of cable news shows, tweeting frequently, and often making claims that he has explosive information on people in the news, Avenatti has attempted to make himself a household name.
But in recent months, Avenatti has suffered a number of legal setbacks including a judge ruling against him and Stormy Daniels in their defamation lawsuit against Trump, being referred to the FBI on suspicion of submitting false statements to Congress, and being arrested on suspicion of domestic violence.
While the Los Angeles district attorney's office declined to press felony domestic violence charges against him, Avenatti decided to rule out a 2020 bid for the Presidency on December 4.
And on March 25, New York federal prosecutors charged Avenatti with attempting to extort more than 20 million from Nike, alleging he tried to get the money by "threatening to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial & reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met."
A few weeks later in April 2019, federal prosecutors in California charged Avenatti with a slew of separate financial crimes, including embezzling from clients. And in May, New York prosecutors further charged him with embezzling 300,000 from Daniels. Avenatti has pleaded not guilty to all charges, and is awaiting trial in both cases.
On January 14, 2020, federal authorities in California said they had arrested Avenatti for violating the conditions of his pretrial release.
Here's what you should know about Michael Avenatti's rise and fall:Avenatti graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996. Three years later, he received his JD degree from George Washington University.
Michael Avenatti YouTube
During college and law school, Avenatti worked for The Research Group, a campaign research firm founded by Rahm Emmanuel, former President Barack Obama's chief of staff and the current Democratic mayor of Chicago.
Jean-Marc Giboux AP
Source: Chicago Magazine
After graduating law school, Avenatti worked at O'Melveny & Myers, a high-powered Los Angeles law firm. Over the course of his legal career, he has contributed to several high-profile cases involving Paris Hilton, Jim Carrey, and members of the rock band The Eagles.
AP Photo Joe Frederick
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