'I deserve to pay'
Michael Avenatti, the attorney who represented Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against former President Donald Trump, has been sentenced to over two years in prison for attempting to extort Nike.
A judge sentenced Avenatti to 30 months in prison on Thursday after he was convicted in an extortion scheme against Nike. The attorney "openly wept" in court as he spoke, CNN reports.
"I and I alone have destroyed my career, my relationships, my life, and there is no doubt that I deserve to pay, have paid, and will pay a further price for what I have done," Avenatti said, CBS News reports. He also told the judge, "I've learned that all the fame, notoriety and money in the world is meaningless. TV and Twitter, your honor, mean nothing," per The Associated Press.
Avenatti was charged with threatening to hold a press conference revealing damaging allegations against Nike unless the company paid him and a client millions of dollars. He "betrayed his client's trust and sought to enrich himself by weaponizing his public profile in an attempt to extort a publicly traded company out of tens of millions of dollars," prosecutors said.
U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe described Avenatti's conduct as "outrageous," per CBS News, also saying he became "drunk on the power of his platform." He had been facing a potential sentence of nine years, The Washington Post's Devlin Barrett noted. According to The Wall Street Journal, Avenatti will also face three years of supervised release after leaving prison.