Media hound Michael Avenatti’s world is starting to fall apart around him. The attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is scrambling to keep his life together as he takes one hit after another. But his latest legal trouble is going to be tougher to dodge.
On Wednesday, it was revealed that Avenatti is being sued by his former law partner Jason Frank, TMZ reported. In the lawsuit, Frank claimed that Avenatti, who has made a sport out of appearing on television in recent months, violated the terms of a settlement he reached with him in December.
The complaint said that Avenatti’s law firm was supposed to pay Frank $4.85 million, with a $2 million installment that was due and payable by May 14. But if you have been paying attention to the Avenatti saga with his other lawsuits and his taxes, you are aware that paying his bills is not high on Avenatti’s to do list.
Frank’s attorney Eric M. George told TMZ that Avenatti’s law firm “entered into a crystal clear written settlement agreement to resolve a prior lawsuit brought by Jason Frank, his former law partner.”
“The settlement agreement was approved by a federal court and was a condition of his law firm exiting bankruptcy,” George said. “Under this settlement, Mr. Avenatti’s law firm was required to pay Mr. Frank $4.85 million, all of which was personally guaranteed by Mr. Avenatti.”
Jason Frank said that Avenatti would not hand over his company’s tax returns, which is information that Frank said he needed in order to know how much money he was owed. Frank said he was owed 25 percent of the company’s profits and a cut of the client fees.
Avenatti has called the claims bogus and has hilariously claimed that Frank is using him to get famous. And if anyone knows about using other people to get himself famous, it is Michael Avenatti.
“Jason Frank is trying to get attention for himself. His allegations are baseless and fraudulent,” Avenatti told TMZ. He also told Talking Points Memo that Frank is “trying to capitalize on the situation.”
“The suit is completely bogus. Who cares?” he said. And speaking of bogus suits, Avenatti is continuing his attack of the free press.
After threatening to sue The Daily Caller for publishing an unflattering story about him, a story that exposed him as an alleged tax cheat and fraudster who has been the subject of numerous lawsuits, Stormy Daniels’ attorney has now threatened to sue another news outlet.
Rachel Stockman, who serves as the editor-and-chief of Law&Crime, said, in an op-ed on Wednesday, that Avenatti threatened to sue her publication over a story titled “One Thing is Clear From Michael Cohen’s Hearing… No One Likes Michael Avenatti.”
“After the publication of our April 26 article that Avenatti deemed ‘unfair’ and ‘complete bullshit,’ Avenatti threatened to sue our reporter, Colin Kalmbacher, personally and then our publication — and then whoever ‘edited’ the article as well. Oh, he wasn’t done,” Stockman wrote.
“In a phone call the day after the article was published, Avenatti also told me if we didn’t make the changes he requested, he would also verbally bash our reporter on The View and make him look like a legal idiot and ‘buffoon.’ (he was in a car on the way to The View when we talked). Law&Crime has confirmed that Avenatti also threatened to ‘cut off’ certain networks and print publications for coverage that was unfavorable to him personally,” she said.
Avenatti continued to make threats of legal action, both to the reporter and Stockman. The editor agreed to make some changes, but the story was still published and the basic gist remained in-tact. That did not work for Avenatti who told the editor in a text, “Next Time, pls take my complaints more seriously. Have a nice weekend.”
He then took to Twitter to continue his complaining, after he appeared on ABC’s “The View.” “Will one of the networks please have me on with @colinkalmbacher so I can show the nation that a) he has no idea what he is talking about; b) he has basically ZERO real-world legal experience; and c) he fabricates ‘facts’ relating to this case to fit his agenda? #legalbuffoonery,” he wrote.
Will one of the networks please have me on with @colinkalmbacher so I can show the nation that a) he has no idea what he is talking about; b) he has basically ZERO real-world legal experience; and c) he fabricates "facts" relating to this case to fit his agenda? #legalbuffoonery
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) April 27, 2018
The truth is that Avenatti, as an attorney, had to be aware that he had no legal case. He was using intimidation tactics, and it did not work.
It has to be tough for Avenatti when a media source does not kiss his backside as CNN and MSNBC have made a habit of doing. But threatening to sue news organizations for reporting facts, that sounds a lot like someone who knows his past is about to come back to haunt him, and he is doing everything he can to stop that from happening.