Stormy Daniels lawyer Michael Avenatti has been a practically ubiquitous figure on cable news the past few weeks, and CNN contributor and legal analyst Paul Callan wanted to zero in on Avenatti’s intentions.
When discussing Daniels’ defamation lawsuit, Callan asked what the “special damages” would be that an adult film star would be able to prove tarnished her reputation. Avenatti began to answer, but Callan champed at the bit somewhat, which prompted Avenatti to say, “You got to stop interrupting me.”
And that’s when the two were off to the races. Callan wanted to know exactly what the damages would be, and when Avenatti repeatedly chose not to answer, he finally said: “When I have a judge ask me that question, as opposed to somebody who’s not prepared –”
“There are no special damages,” Callan cut in.
“How do you know that? You don’t know anything about the case,” Avenatti protested.
Anderson Cooper looked to moderate the quickly-going-off-the-rails discussion by asking Callan if he thought that by dint of being an adult film star, Daniels could not be defamed.
“I’ve tried a lot of cases through the years, all right?” Callan said. “And as a matter of principle, you’re probably right. Somebody who’s made 500 pornographic films can be defamed in theory. But you put 12 ordinary people on a jury and say to them, award her money because somebody called her a liar, I think you’d have a hard time getting a substantial damage award.”
“Now, maybe you’d get a symbolic award, sometimes jurors say will award a dollar in damages to send a message that we won’t tolerate this sort of thing,” he continued. “But actual damages justifying all of the effort that’s gone into this lawsuit, I don’t see it.
“Which means the lawsuit is a publicity lawsuit and a publicity stunt.”
“If I had a dollar for every time a guy that was unprepared to talk about something actually told me it was a publicity stunt or we weren’t going to prevail, I wouldn’t be sitting here right now,” Avenatti shot back. “I’d be on my own private island.”
Watch above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? email@example.com