UPDATED 1:38 PM PT — Thurs. Nov. 29, 2018
Michael Avenatti has had some recent run-ins with the law, but the latest statement from one of his high-profile clients could spell trouble for the California lawyer.
On Wednesday, adult film actress Stormy Daniels said the defamation suit Avenatti filed against President Trump on her behalf was done without her approval.
In a statement to The Daily Beast,” Daniels detailed her attorney-client relationship with Avenatti:
“Michael has not treated me with the respect and deference an attorney should show to a client. He has spoken on my behalf without my approval. He filed a defamation case against Donald Trump against my wishes.”
Daniels went on to say Avenatti refused to disclose how her legal defense fund was being spent, and that he started a new fundraising campaign using her name without her permission. She also said he made up false statements and attributed them to her.
Avenatti responded by saying he sacrificed time and money for Daniel’s case, and has been open with her about all aspects of the case. He claimed the most recent campaign was a reboot of the previous fundraiser to help pay for Daniel’s additional security and legal costs.
A judge ultimately ruled against Daniels in the defamation case and ordered her to pay the president’s legal fees.
If Daniel’s statements are true, Avenatti could be subject to a malpractice suit. He could face fines and punishment, but he would not be disbarred.