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Former Stormy Daniels attorney Avenatti sentenced to two and a half years in prison over Nike scheme

Avenatti had previously been an attorney for Stormy Daniels in her suit against former President Donald Trump.

Updated: July 8, 2021 - 3:09pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Michael Avenatti was sentenced Thursday to two and a half years in prison after being found guilty of extortion against Nike.

Avenatti, who is best known as the lawyer for ex-adult star Stormy Daniels when she sued former President Donald Trump, was allegedly in tears during his speech before the sentencing, according to The Washington Examiner.

"Mr. Avenatti’s conduct was outrageous. He hijacked his client’s claims, and he used those claims to further his own agenda — which was to extort millions of dollars from Nike to enrich himself," Judge Paul Gardephe of the Southern District of New York said Thursday.

Avenatti was found guilty in February 2020 of attempting to extort the sportswear company for up to $25 million in exchange for him not talking publicly about allegations of corruption involving Nike and college athletics. Avvenatti is also expected to stand trial next year for allegedly defrauding Daniels and other clients, according to The Washington Post.

"Mr. Avenatti had become drunk on the power of his platform, or what he perceived the power of his platform to be. He had become someone who operated as if the laws and rules that apply to everyone else didn’t apply to him," Gardephe said.