Stormy Daniels and Michael Avenatti
Stormy Daniels and Michael Avenatti

The celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti is now facing a prison sentence of 30 months after attempting to bribe Nike of up to $25m. 

Criminal defendant Michale Avenatti was sentenced to 30 months in prison on Thursday, July 8,  by a federal judge for his attempt to extort millions of dollars from Nike. In February 2020, he was convicted of three counts for his threat to expose Nike for secretly paying amateur basketball players unless he received a payment from them. 

He was found guilty of extortion, the transmission of interstate communications with intent to extort, and wire fraud after a three-week trial and will face up to 2.5 years in prison. 

For his crimes, federal guidelines suggested at least nine years in prison, which many people are bringing up regarding his conviction. 

During the sentencing, US District Judge Paul Gardephe stated, “Mr. Avenatti’s conduct was outrageous.” He continued, “Mr. Avenatti had become drunk on the power of his platform, or what he perceived his platform to be.”

Avenatti was a celebrity lawyer for Stormy Daniels turned criminal defendant and even defended her in a lawsuit against former President Trump. The federal judge and national consensus ascertained he was abusing his power and fame after he demanded Nike pay him between $15m and $25m in his bribe. 

In court, Avenatti admitted he had “lost his way” in an emotional response to the convictions. 

“I betrayed my own values, my friends, my family, and myself,” he said. “I, and I alone, have destroyed my career, my relationships, my life.”

During his response, he had to pause multiple times and became choked up often, giving his statement in complete disarray. 

“I’ve learned that all the fame, money notoriety in the world is meaningless,” he said. 

“There is no doubt that I deserve to pay, have paid, and will pay a further price for what I have done,” he continued, fighting back tears.

Avenatti is correct about the future, as he is preparing to be charged in both California and Manhattan for his fraudulent schemes towards his clients as well as stealing up to $300,000 from former client Stormy Daniels’s book contract. However, Avenatti has pleaded not guilty to both allegations. 

Anoosha Murtaza is a Gen Z Voice at the Pavlovic Today and a rising third-year student at the University of Virginia. Anoosha has a passion for good journalism, strong political views, and social justice. 

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