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Michael Avenatti has been convicted of trying to extort Nike

Posted at 2:30 PM, Feb 14, 2020

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Michael Avenatti, who gained fame by representing porn star Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against President Donald Trump, has been convicted of trying to extort sportswear giant Nike.

The verdict against Avenatti was returned by a federal jury in Manhattan on Friday, two days after jury deliberations began.

It followed a three-week trial in which prosecutors claimed Avenatti made threats to use his media access to hurt Nike's reputation and stock price unless the apparel company paid him up to $25 million.

Avenatti did not testify, but his lawyers said he was following the wishes of an amateur youth basketball league director who wanted him to force Nike to fire corrupt executives and fix its culture. His lawyers argued that he was doing an honest and legal negotiation.