UPDATED, 1:07 PM: Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who represented Stormy Daniels in the porn actress’ lawsuit against President Donald Trump, today entered a not-guilty plea in a Manhattan federal court to charges that he stole from his famous client.
Bail was set at $300,000, and Avenatti agreed to have no contact with his former client as the case plays out. Read details of the case below.
In a separate arraignment today, Avenatti pleaded not guilty to a federal charge of trying to extort show giant Nike.
PREVIOUSLY, May 22: A federal grand jury in Manhattan indicted hot-shot attorney Michael Avenatti on Wednesday, charging him with stealing about $300,000 of ex-client Stormy Daniels’ advance on her book and using that money to pay employees of his law firm and his coffee business.
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The latest charges were filed in the Southern District of New York, where Avenatti already has been accused of extortion targeting Nike.
Today’s legal development goes a long way in explaining why Daniels, back in March, abruptly ended her professional relationship with Avenatti, saying he had “dealt with me extremely dishonestly.”
“No monies relating to Daniels were ever misappropriated or mishandled,” Avenatti tweeted in anticipation of Wednesday’s indictment. “She received millions of dollars worth of legal services and we spent huge sums in expenses. She directly paid only $100.00 for all that she received. I look forward to a jury hearing the evidence.”
He also tweeted, “I was entitled to any monies retained per my agreement with the client. My agreement for representation and compensation included a percentage of any book proceeds.”
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