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US Attorney on Charges Avenatti Tried to Extort $20 Million From Nike: ‘This Was an Old-Fashioned Shakedown’

US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman spoke at a press conference today laying out the charges against Michael Avenatti.

Avenatti, former lawyer to Stormy Daniels, was arrested today and charged with attempting to extort over $20 million from Nike.

Berman laid out what they uncovered and how Avenatti was allegedly “threatening to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict financial and reputational harm on the company.”

“Avenatti repeatedly pressured the company to agree to pay or risk having Avenatti hold a press conference that he claimed would dramatically drive down the stock price of the company and its market value,” Berman said.

Before the charges were announced, Avenatti tweeted this today:

Berman said, “By engaging in the conduct alleged in the complaint, Avenatti was not acting as an attorney. A suit and tie doesn’t mask the fact that at its core, this was an old-fashioned shakedown.”

You can watch above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: josh@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac