Adult film actress Stormy Daniels on Monday responded to the arrest of her former attorney Michael Avenatti by saying she was “not shocked” by his behavior.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, released a statement via Twitter after federal prosecutors for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) announced Avenatti was being charged with attempting to extort $20 million from Nike.
“Knowing what I know now about Michael Avenatti, I am saddened but not shocked by news reports that he has been criminally charged today,” Daniels tweeted.
The former mistress of President Donald Trump also hinted that more would be coming out soon about Avenatti and the way he conducts business.
“I made the decision more than a month ago to terminate Michael’s services after discovering that he had dealt with me extremely dishonestly and there will be more announcements to come,” she tweeted. “I ask that the media respect my decision to withhold further public comment regarding Mr. Avenatti at this time.”
Earlier this month, Daniels announced she had retained new counsel who would be reviewing “all legal matters involving me.” Minutes later, Avenatti announced that his firm was no longer representing Daniels “after lengthy discussion, thought and deliberation, as well as consultation with other professionals.” He added that he and his firm “wish Stormy all the best,” according to Politico.
Last year, Daniels told the Daily Beast that she had not given Avenatti permission to sue Trump for defamation on her behalf. She kept him on as her attorney following this episode, however.
Now Avenatti faces up to 50 years in prison for telling Nike lawyers that he would “take 10 billion dollars off your client’s market cap” if they didn’t pay him and another person $20 million and for charges from the Central District of California alleging the celebrity lawyer embezzled money from a client to pay for personal expenses. The California charges also allege that Avenatti used fake tax returns in order to secure millions of dollars in bank loans.
Avenatti apparently met with Nike attorneys for the first time on March 19, 2018, demanding money and saying that if they did not pay he would hold a press conference linking the sports giant to a scandal involving high school and college basketball teams.
Monday morning, Avenatti tweeted that he would be holding such a press conference. Less than an hour later, the SDNY announced the extortion charges against Avenatti.
In addition to Avenatti’s current legal predicaments, he was also arrested last November for allegedly striking actress Mareli Miniutti. Originally facing felony charges, the Los Angeles County District Attorney instead referred Avenatti for misdemeanor charges.
Prior to that arrest, Avenatti was referred for criminal prosecution by the Senate Judiciary Committee for his involvement in bringing wildly suspicious allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Avenatti represented Julie Swetnick, who claimed Kavanaugh and his friends spiked drinks at parties while in high school in order to gang-rape women. Swetnick was also referred for criminal prosecution.
A second referral against Avenatti was also filed by the Judiciary Committee for the celebrity attorney’s attempts to bolster Swetnick’s claim with a second client alleging the same thing.