Avenatti May Have Worked With Attorney Who Repped Kaepernick, Smollett in Alleged Nike Extortion Deal: Report

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images; Mike Blake/Reuters; Joshua Lott/Reuters

Michael Avenatti may have teamed up with Jussie Smollett’s attorney Mark Geragos in his alleged attempt to extort Nike, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

Smollett, an actor from the show “Empire,” caught national attention earlier this year after he allegedly faked a hate crime. He claimed that MAGA hat-wearing Trump supporters who were carrying a noose assaulted him in Chicago.

As IJR previously reported, the Chicago Police Department charged Smollett for faking the police report after two men told police Smollett had hired them to commit the act. Smollett has yet to have his day in court and remains innocent until proven guilty.

However, his defense plan may have just gotten a bit more complicated.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Smollett’s attorney, Mark Geragos, may have been Avenatti’s co-conspirator in the alleged attempted extortion of Nike.

As IJR reported earlier, Avenatti — who rose to fame representing adult film star Stormy Daniels in her legal efforts against President Donald Trump — is facing charges in both California and New York.

The U.S. attorney in California is charging the lawyer with wire fraud and bank fraud for allegedly lying to clients about their money to use it for his personal debts. In New York, Avenatti is facing charges for trying to extort upwards of $20 million from Nike over a “college basketball” scandal he planned to reveal in a press conference on Tuesday.

In the New York case, Avenatti allegedly told Nike that it needed to pay his client $1.5 million to bury a scandal. He also allegedly tried to force Nike to hire him and Geragos to conduct an “internal investigation” for somewhere between $15 and $25 million.

Geragos has represented many controversial figures, including Michael Jackson and former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick — who was the face of an advertising campaign for Nike.

Several people could not believe the odds that Avenatti — a longtime foe of Trump — and Smollett’s attorney would be accused of extortion within 24 hours of Attorney General William Barr announcing the findings of the Mueller report, largely exonerating Trump.

Beyond his controversial legal career, Geragos is also a legal analyst for CNN. It remains to be seen what is in store legally for both Avenatti and Geragos.

What do you think?

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James
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I don’t believe it: a “crooked lawyer”? Avenatti should run as another Socialist for the 2020. He’d better hurry. The clown car is filling up fast.

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