Michael Avenatti boasts of having won $1 billion on behalf of his clients and claims he will run for president in 2020, yet his former law firm and businesses owe millions in unpaid taxes, TheDailyBeast.com reports. Court documents indicate that the California lawyer famous for representing adult-film actress Stormy Daniels personally owes the IRS at least $1.2 million, while his now shuttered Eagan Avenatti law firm owed $2.4 million in taxes as well as months of back rent on its office. Avenatti told TheDailyBeast.com that since the firm was closed, “none of those obligations are my responsibility.” Before a court hearing this week for a former employee who claimed to be owed millions in unpaid salary, Avenatti told reporters, “You guys are wasting your time. Nothing’s gonna happen.” A judge ordered Avenatti to pay the former employee, Jason Frank, $4.85 million.
Rihanna rebuffed an invitation to headline the Super Bowl halftime show, to express her support of Colin Kaepernick, Us Weekly reports. The unsigned quarterback has accused the NFL of blackballing him after he became the first player to kneel during the national anthem to protest police treatment of African-Americans. Citing Rihanna’s decision, Amy Schumer said she won’t appear in a commercial during the game, as she did last year. “Hitting the NFL with the advertisers is the only way to really hurt them,” Schumer said. The February Super Bowl will feature a performance by Maroon 5.
Former NFL player Rae Carruth was released from prison this week after serving nearly 18 years in the murder of the mother of his unborn child. In 1999, the Carolina Panthers star hired two men to kill Cherica Adams, then eight months pregnant. Prosecutors said Adams was driving behind Carruth when a gunman pulled up beside her, and Carruth used his car to block hers while the man opened fire. Adams died, but a boy, now 18, was delivered via caesarean section after suffering brain damage. He was raised by his grandmother. Carruth, 44, said he was “excited” about leaving prison, but fears how the public will treat him. “It just seems like there is so much hate and negativity toward me.” ■