UPDATED: 7:53 p.m. ET, March 25, 2019
Michael Avenatti, the attorney who had represented adult film star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Donald Trump, was arrested early this morning outside the office of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, in Manhattan, New York. It was the location at which a final meeting between Avenatti and Nike was supposed to be held.
George Berman, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, presented a timeline of Michael Avenatti’s alleged extortion scheme. Berman claims that the extortion attempt took place over the course of less than a week. It apparently started on March 19, when Avenatti had the first meeting with Nike to inform the company he had a client who held valuable information regarding potential misconduct of the company. Avenatti then threatened Nike by claiming that he would hold a news conference about the matter and that he would be making this damaging information about the company available to the public. His goal was to extort 20 million dollars from Nike. Shortly afterward, Nike informed federal prosecutors in New York of the threats and further communications were recorded and monitored by the FBI.
After the initial meeting, Avenatti arranged for a second meeting with Nike the following day. He continued to threaten Nike in a very “graphic way” as Berman describes. At the end of the meeting on March 20, Nike and Mr. Avenatti agreed to meet one last time. The last meeting was supposed to take place today when Mr. Avenatti was arrested.
A lawyer who represents Nike, Scott Wilson, a Boies Schiller Flexner LLP partner, also co-operated with the investigation according to an insider.
In addition, it was revealed today by the Wall Street Journal that an attorney named Mark Geragos is an unnamed co-conspirator as referred to by the Southern District of New York’s criminal complaint against Avenatti. Mark Geragos, is known as an “an attorney licensed in California who represents celebrities and public figures.” So far, Geragos has not been charged with this crime, and when contacted by reporters, he did not have any comments regarding this allegation.
It is now declared that Michael Avenatti will be released this evening on a $300,000 bond.