Broke would be an improvement for Michael Avenatti.
The jail-bound lawyer who once took on former President Donald Trump is so impoverished that he sleeps on an air mattress at a friend’s house and can’t get a dime from anyone in his family, a newly unsealed court filing reveals.
With mountainous debt and restitution demands, the once-brash lawyer said in the financial document from July 2020 that he’s beyond broke.
“For the last six months, since my remand to custody on January 15, 2020, I have been unable to earn any income,” Avenatti said in a recently released financial affidavit filed in Manhattan Federal Court. “I do not know if or when I will be able to work again, either in the legal profession or in any other profession.”
Avenatti, facing two-and-a-half years in prison for trying to extort Nike out of $25 million, made his name by representing adult film star Stormy Daniels, who claimed she had a tryst with Trump a decade before he ran for president.
But Avenatti, 50, ended up falling out with Daniels, too. The financial document was submitted in Manhattan Federal Court, where he’s awaiting trial for allegedly screwing Daniels out of $300,000 for a book deal.
Avenatti said he was crashing with a pal, didn’t have a car and owned little more than the clothes on his back.
According to the filing, Avenatti faces $11 million in judgments from the Nike trial along with millions in additional judgments from other lawsuits. That doesn’t include more than $750,000 in other debts, including legal fees. He said he has less than $1,000 in liquid assets.
“Even my liquid assets minus my current living expenses alone is a negative number,” Avenatti wrote.
Avenatti is also being hit for past due child support payments from his estranged wife and his former wife totaling more than $7 million, amounts he said he disputes.
That’s quite a fall from grace for the high-flying lawyer who stylishly appeared on cable news almost every night bashing Trump so regularly that he even briefly considered challenging him in the 2020 election.
At the time he said he would “have no problem raising money.”
Those political aspirations stopped when prosecutors in New York and California charged Avenatti with fraud in March 2019.
Avenatti is currently acting as his own attorney in a California trial over allegations he cheated clients out of millions of dollars and failed to pay hundreds of thousands in taxes.
Leonard Greene, New York Daily News