Stormy Daniels’ attorney – Michael Avenatti – was charged with attempting to extort millions of dollars from Nike in exchange for his silence on the company’s sensitive matters. Avenatti met with company executives in New York City on Monday and thought he would earn himself a few million dollars by threatening to reveal evidence he said he had of “misconduct by company employees” when they recruited college basketball players.
Avenatti’s client, a basketball coach for a youth team, had evidence that Nike employees had funneled money in recruiting new players in violation of the N.C.A.A. rules. They threatened that unless they were paid $22.5 million, they would divulge this information to the public and damage Nike’s reputation. Around the same time that he was charged with extortion by federal officials, Avenatti announced in a tweet on his twitter account that he would hold a news conference to accuse Nike of “a major high school/college basketball scandal.”
It was later revealed that Avenatti’s client was Mr. Franklin, whose team recently did not renew their contract with Nike. According to court documents, Avenatti offered to remain silent about his exposing his evidence if Nike paid $1.5 million to Mr. Franklin and paid him and another lawyer to conduct an internal investigation on the matter for billings worth $15 million and $25 million, respectively.
Alternatively, Avenatti offered to remain silent if the company paid him outright and paid his client $22.5 million. In a recorded meeting video, Avenatti said, “The company will die — not die, but they are going to incur cut after cut after cut, and that’s what’s going to happen as soon as this thing becomes public.”