After rising to fame thanks to representing Stormy Daniels when she came forward to confirm her affair with Donald Trump, the one-time superstar celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti was found guilty on Friday of stealing from the adult film actress. Following a whirlwind trial that featured everything from fired public defenders to accusations of paranormal communications, Avenatti was convicted of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft for skimming roughly $300,000 from an advance for Daniels’ memoirs. During her testimony, Daniels repeatedly described feeling betrayed by Avenatti’s actions when he was supposed to be protecting her during a public battle with Trump.
Making Avenatti’s conviction all the more embarrassing is that he made a last-minute decision to represent himself and basically boasted to the press that he had it all under control. Uhhhh… whoops. Via The Daily Beast:
Avenatti’s trial began Jan. 24 and included theatrical testimony about Daniels’ supposed paranormal experiences and ability to speak to dead people, Avenatti’s desperate plea for a loan from celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos, and an inside look at text messages between Daniels and Avenatti that revealed how their tight-knit bond turned sour.
On the second day of trial, Avenatti ditched his public defenders and decided to represent himself. He told reporters outside the courthouse that afternoon that he was innocent and going “pro se” would give him “the best chance at winning.”
Naturally, Avenatti plans to fight the conviction. “I look forward to a full adjudication of all of the issues on appeal,” he told reporters as if none of them would remember him saying he was going to totally win this thing the first time.
(Via The Daily Beast)