Michael Avenatti says he’s ‘100% not guilty’ in Stormy Daniels, Nike cases

Credit: Julio Cortez

Credit: Julio Cortez

Attorney Michael Avenatti pleaded not guilty Tuesday in federal court in New York to charges of fraud and identity theft in connection with his handling of money for his former client, Stormy Daniels, and to extortion charges in a case involving Nike.

Avenatti entered his pleas during two separate hearings, according to The New York Times.

In the Nike extortion case, Avenatti told the judge he is "100% not guilty," NBC News reported.

A defense lawyer for Avenatti asked the court to combine the charges in the cases and move the proceedings to Southern California where Avenatti lives, according to NBC.

Prosecutors called the request a stall tactic, but the judge said she’ll consider the motion.

In a Twitter post last week, Avenatti said he would enter not guilty pleas “to all charges and demand a jury trial.”

Credit: Twitter

Credit: Twitter

In court documents released last week, prosecutors in the Southern District of New York charged Avenatti in connection with his representation of an unidentified client. Details shared in court records indicated the client was Daniels, who Avenatti represented in a case against President Donald Trump. Daniels sued to get out of a non-disclosure agreement she signed before the 2016 presidential election that barred her from talking about a sexual encounter she said she had with Trump years before the election.

In an indictment, prosecutors accused Avenatti of stealing about $300,000 from Daniels after helping her to secure a book contract. Prosecutors said Avenatti sent a fraudulent letter to Daniels’s literary agent telling the agent to deposit payments to an account he controlled and that he spent the funds on a luxury car payment among other charges.

Avenatti is also scheduled to appear in court for an arraignment on charges he tried to shake down Nike for more than $25 million. He was arrested last month after authorities said he threatened to expose claims the sports brand paid off high school basketball players to steer them to Nike-sponsored colleges. In court records, prosecutors said he threatened “to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial and reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met.”

Federal prosecutors in California have also charged Avenatti with a slew of embezzlement, bank fraud and tax fraud charges.

Avenatti has denied any wrongdoing and vowed to plead not guilty to all charges.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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