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Lawyers say Avenatti faces ridicule, should be sentenced to no more than six months in prison

Lawyers for Michael Avenatti, the former attorney for adult-film star Stormy Daniels, told a judge on Wednesday that he should serve no more than six months in prison after being found guilty of attempting to extort $25 million from sportswear giant Nike, noting that he is facing constant ridicule.

According to The Associated Press, Avenatti's lawyers made the request in a sentencing memorandum in Manhattan federal court. They said he suffered while serving three months in prison after his bail was revoked last year and noted the public ridicule of his “cataclysmic fall."

“Avenatti’s epic fall and public shaming has played out in front of the entire world. The Court may take judicial notice of this fact, as Avenatti’s cataclysmic fall has been well-documented. He is openly mocked by the former President of the United States and his preferred media outlets, to the glee of millions of the former President’s followers and supporters,” the lawyers wrote, according to the AP.

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“He cannot go anywhere in public without inducing and subjecting himself to vitriolic comments and abuse. These circumstances alone would deter anyone in Avenatti’s shoes from engaging in similar conduct,” they added.

While the lawyers said that no more than a six-month prison term and home confinement would be a sufficient sentence for Avenatti, federal sentencing guidelines suggest a sentence of 11 to 14 years in prison, the AP noted, adding that sentencing is scheduled for June 30.

Prosecutors are set to make their own sentencing recommendations in Avenatti's case later this month, the news service added.

Avenatti was convicted in February 2020 of attempting to extort up to $25 million from Nike, the global apparel brand. Two months later, he was allowed to leave the Metropolitan Correction Center in Manhattan for home confinement at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. 

In 2019, Avenatti was also charged with defrauding Daniels of hundreds of thousands of dollars from her book deal. 

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges, the AP noted.