I can’t think of a more dramatic rise and fall of a public figure in recent years than that of Michael Avenatti. This guy went from being a random, yet high-powered attorney, to the most sought after guest on (left wing) cable news networks, and now to the slammer for up to 42 years.
Avenatti first slipped into the public eye in 2018 as the attorney for adult film actress Stormy Daniels (whom I swear I’ve never heard of). Avenatti was representing Stormy against President Trump. Back in the days of The Apprentice, Trump and Stormy had (allegedly) engaged in a “quid pro quo” of sorts that involved a hotel room and Shark Week on the TV. Daniels thought she could improve her career by getting on The Apprentice, so she learned a little something about “The Art of The Deal” in the process if you know what I mean. This became relevant in 2018 because Trump had paid Daniels to hush, and it was believed that the “hush money” came from the Trump Campaign, which would have been a campaign finance violation. Daniels was attempting to void the non-disclosure agreement between her and Trump. Avenatti was on CNN and MSNBC constantly, talking about how he was about to take Trump down. The media ate it up.
During this media tour, Avenatti’s profile grew so much that he began teasing a presidential bid. For some time, he was even considered a serious contender for the Democratic nomination.
Avenatti surfaced once again later in 2018 during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. He once again entered the ring claiming that he had a bombshell: a client of his alleged that she was gang raped by a group of men at a party that may have contained Kavanaugh. This did not sit well with his fellow Democrats: many of them thought that his sensational claims undercut their case against Kavanaugh. After this, Avenatti basically disappeared, save for a few isolated visits to cable news shows.
In November 2018, Avenatti was accused of domestic violence by a girlfriend. He was arrested, but nothing ever materialized. Charges were dropped. This did, however, take a lot of the steam out of his presidential aspirations.
Fast forward to March 2019, where Avenatti found himself facing extortion and fraud charges stemming from his dealings with Nike. It was alleged that he tried to extort Nike “by threatening to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial and reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met.
Fast forward once again. Michael Avenatti has just been convicted of these charges, and sentenced to up to 42 years in prison.
Wow. What a roller coaster. Let us fondly remember Michael Avenatti’s short-lived fame. There has to be a mashup video somewhere of Avenatti cable news hits and his presidential announcement to “I Will Remember You” by Sarah McLachlan. If not, someone has to make one.
Here’s a mashup without the Sarah McLachlan music.
Michael Avenatti’s relevance (2018-2020).