Honestly, you couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried. But thankfully, you can write stories about it.
Anti-Trump guru, CNN darling and lawyer to the (porn) stars Michael Avenatti is in trouble again – this time for allegedly forging adult film star Stormy Daniels’ signature and using it to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars for his own personal use.
Just a few months after being arrested for allegedly trying to blackmail Nike for $25 million, Avenatti has now been charged with fraud and aggravated identity theft after reportedly stealing $300,000 from Daniels, whom he famously represented against President Donald Trump, and spending it on personal plane tickets, hotels, take-out dining, and bankrolling his own law firm. Add that to the charges of wire fraud, bank fraud and extortion he already faces for his other alleged crimes, and Avenatti’s probably looking at hiring a few lawyers of his own.
“When [Daniels] inquired about the status of [her] advance fees, Avenatti repeatedly lied to [her], including by stating that he was working on getting fees from [her] publisher, when, in truth and in fact, Avenatti had already received the fees and spent them on his own personal and professional expenses,” the indictment, filed in the Southern District of New York, states.
Of course, just like with the Nike case (and anything else he’s ever been accused of), Avenatti’s denying the whole thing.
“No monies relating to Ms. Daniels were ever misappropriated or mishandled,” Avenatti tweeted Wednesday. “She received millions of dollars worth of legal services and we spent huge sums in expenses. She directly paid only $100.00 for all that she received. I look forward to a jury hearing the evidence.”
“At no time was any money misappropriated or mishandled,” he claims.
Just to remind, because it's always good to do, this is the same Avenatti that broadcast and cable news networks hosted a whopping 254 times in just the last year, and whom CNN's Brian Stelter praised for his "star power" as a potential presidential candidate.