Fall from Grace: ‘Creepy Porn Lawyer’ Michael Avenatti Sentenced to 4-Year Prison Sentence

Patrick Taylor | June 3, 2022
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Michael Avenatti, a man once famously dubbed “Creepy Porn Lawyer” by Tucker Carlson, has been sentenced to four years in prison for defrauding his client, pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels, out of nearly $300,000.

This news comes as yet another pitfall for Avenatti’s rise to stardom, which once saw him being hyped as a prominent political commentator and would-be presidential candidate. The sentence, combined with his other convictions for tax evasion, extortion, fraud, and embezzlement, may prove to be challenges for the disgraced lawyer’s political ambitions.

Given Avenatti’s recent headlines, it seems worth our time to take a walk down memory lane, and reminisce on Avenatti’s glory days when the bombastic Trump critic seemed destined for stardom.

By March 2018, Avenatti had eagerly hitched his wagon to the aforementioned Daniels, who alleged that she had engaged in an affair with future President Donald Trump in 2006. Avenatti represented Daniels in a lawsuit aiming to invalidate a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) set up by then-Trump attorney Michael Cohen, as well as a defamation suit.

Though the suits were to fail spectacularly in October, and Daniels would later claim that Avenatti initiated the defamation suit against her wishes, Avenatti had, by that point, become a media darling. In March, April, and May, Avenatti appeared 108 times on CNN and MSNBC to discuss the lawsuit (and just about anything tangentially related to President Trump).

In the summer of 2018, Avenatti was rapidly becoming the public face of the #Resist movement, and liberal commentators took notice.

Related: CBS Lies: ‘We’ Didn’t Misjudge Disgraced Avenatti (Fact Check: They Called Him a ‘Rock Star’)

In July of that year, CNN editor-at-large (and, dare I say, one of Avenatti’s most fawning followers) Chris Cilizza wrote, “President Michael Avenatti? Never say never!” and by September, Politico’s Bill Scher wrote, “Michael Avenatti Is Winning the 2020 Democratic Primary.”

The good times were not to last, however. Trouble in paradise arrived for Avenatti, beginning in late 2018. 

A legendary series of humiliations, including an embarrassing interview with Tucker Carlson, a referral to the FBI after pushing a dubious “gang rape” allegation against then-Supreme Court nominee Justice Brett Kavanaugh, a domestic violence arrest, multiple convictions for attempting to extort Nike (yes, the apparel company), and a seemingly never-ending series of financial crimes piled up in the span of just a few years.

Thursday’s sentence may just be the cherry on top for Avenatti. His former client, Daniels herself, took Avenatti to court after he fraudulently claimed nearly $300,000 from her book deal. Now, it appears Avenatti is facing his just desserts.

Avenatti, who made the bold choice of representing himself in court, seethed about Trump prior to his sentencing.

“I believed we could take down a sitting U.S. president who was the biggest threat to our democracy in modern times,” he pleaded

Avenatti also recounted various times he aided “underdog” clients, attempting to prove that he hadn’t taken on Daniels as a client in order to raise his profile or profit off of her.

U.S. District Court Judge Jesse Furman was unconvinced. He described Avenatti’s conduct as “craven and egregious,” driven by “blind ambition.”

Avenatti will serve five years in prison total, with 18 months of his sentence running concurrently with his time served for the Nike scheme.

 

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