Stormy Daniels set to testify against former lawyer Avenatti in fraud trial
Former adult film actress Stormy Daniels is set to testify against her former attorney Michael Avenatti in his fraud trial next week, The Associated Press reported.
Daniels’ testimony is expected on Tuesday at the earliest, with opening statements set to begin Monday.
Prosecutors are expecting Daniels testimony to be pivotal in their effort to prove the former attorney engaged in wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, according to the AP.
Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, alleges that Avenatti cheated her out of $300,000 in proceeds from her book.
Daniels and Avenatti became household names in 2018 for their lawsuits against former president Trump, alleging that Trump’s then-attorney Michael Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 in hush-money before the 2016 presidential election to not share her sexual encounter with Trump.
Cohen eventually pleaded guilty to charges including tax evasion and violating campaign finance laws, serving two years in prison before finishing his three-year prison sentence at home.
Avenatti, 50, has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, saying that he worked unpaid for Daniels with an agreement to receive a cut of her book proceeds, according to the AP.
“I am completely innocent of these charges,” Avenatti said in a statement through his publicist. “The government is spending millions of dollars to prosecute me for a case that should have never been filed. Meanwhile, they continue to allow Trump and his co-conspirators to walk free and suffer no consequences for their criminal conduct. That is not justice.”
Avenatti was convicted in 2020 for trying to extort up to $25 million from Nike by threatening to tarnish the company’s reputation, the AP noted. He has yet to begin serving his two-and-a-half-year prison sentence for the crime.