CNN jettisoned celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos on Monday after reporting that he is alleged to be the unnamed co-conspirator in the Southern District of New York’s criminal complaint against another celebrity lawyer, Michael Avenatti.
Garagos, best known for repping the likes of former NFL-er Colin Kaepernick, actor Jussie Smollett and singer Chris Brown, has been a legal analyst for CNN; that’s no longer the case, CNN reported Monday afternoon, while also reporting Geragos did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.
“Attorney Mark Geragos moonlighted as a CNN legal analyst … but not anymore, per a CNN spokeswoman,” CNN’s media guru Brian Stelter tweeted. He added, for good measure, “He’s no longer a contributor.”
Geragos has not been charged, CNN said.
Geoffrey S. Berman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, did not mention Geragos when he held his Monday afternoon presser to provide details of the charges against Avenatti, who was arrested Monday and later posted $300,000 bond after federal prosecutors in New York charged him with trying to extort more than $20 million from Nike.
Avenatti faces four counts of extortion from the Southern District of New York for attempting to extract the payments from Nike by “threatening to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial and reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met,” Berman said.
“When lawyers use their law license as weapons to extort payments for themselves, they are no longer acting as attorneys; they are acting as criminals and they will be held responsible for their conduct,” he said.
“A suit and tie does not mask the fact that, at its core, this was an old-fashioned shakedown,” the prosecutor said.