- Lucas Jackson/Reuters
- Stormy Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, blasted The Los Angeles Times for writing about a $10 million judgment against his law firm.
- Avenatti called the story “nonsense” because it had nothing to do with his representation of Daniels.
- US Bankruptcy Court Judge Catherine Bauer ordered the law firm, Eagan Avenatti, to pay $10 million to Jason Frank, a lawyer who used to work at the California firm, after Avenatti failed to pay Frank $2 million this month.
Stormy Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, blasted a Los Angeles Times reporter for writing about a $10 million judgment slapped on his law firm in US Bankruptcy Court on Tuesday.
Avenatti called the story “nonsense” because it involved a “completely different law firm” with “no ties to Daniels case.”
“Over blown,” Avenatti tweeted at the reporter, Michael Finnegan. “Sensational reporting at its finest. Check the facts next time please and report accurately.”
US Bankruptcy Court Judge Catherine Bauer ordered the law firm, Eagan Avenatti, to pay $10 million to Jason Frank, a lawyer who used to work at the California firm, after Avenatti failed to pay Frank $2 million this month, The Times reported.
“At this point, that’s what’s appropriate,” Bauer said in the hearing, according to The Times.
Avenatti had personally guaranteed that $2 million would be paid to Frank last week to settle the law firm’s bankruptcy, but he and the firm did not pay out that sum. Avenatti is not representing Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, through that firm.
During the hearing, the Department of Justice revealed that the firm had defaulted on back taxes it owed to the IRS, The Times reported. An assistant US attorney told Bauer that the government is planning to file a subsequent motion demanding payment of those back taxes. Avenatti had agreed to pay the IRS $2.4 million in a January bankruptcy settlement. The US attorney’s office in Los Angeles said Avenatti has paid at least $1.5 million of that total, but he and the firm missed a payment due last week.
Avenatti has blamed the unpaid taxes on a payroll company he did not identify, The Times wrote.
In an email to The Times, Avenatti claimed the publication “purposely” confused him “with a separate legal entity that has no role in the Daniels case.”
“No judgment against me was issued nor do I owe any taxes,” he wrote.
Avenatti has sparred with the press in recent weeks over coverage of his business and legal career outside of his representation of Daniels, who has alleged she had a 2006 affair with President Donald Trump and is suing both the president and his longtime lawyer Michael Cohen.
Daniels is seeking to get out of a non-disclosure agreement that Cohen facilitated just prior to the 2016 presidential election. She was paid $130,000 for her silence. Cohen is additionally under criminal investigation in the Southern District of New York – a probe for which Avenatti is petitioning to appear in court.
“Never before has an ATTY in a lawsuit been personally attacked to this degree on issues that have nothing to do with the lawsuit or who he reps,” Avenatti tweeted Monday. “My personal life, businesses, past clients, etc. have nothing to do with the current cases and the facts of those cases. #Desperate.”