A Powerpoint presentation filed by the Southern District of New York (SDNY) on Wednesday reveals Michael Avenatti’s apparent fondness for the testicular metaphor.
“Have you ever held the balls of the client in your hand where you can take 5, 6 billion dollars in market cap off of ‘em?” the celebrity attorney allegedly said in response to a representative for Boies Schiller, the law firm which served as Nike’s outside counsel during discussions over allegations the apparel giant had plied college athletes with improper infusions of cash in violation of NCAA rules.
Filed in response to a recent court order, the SDNY’s 117-page Powerpoint presentation uses Avenatti’s reference to sperm-production organs as the introductory quotation undergirding the government’s entire theory of their recently successful case against him. On Valentine’s Day, Avenatti was found guilty of three counts related to a half-cocked Nike extortion scheme.
“I’m not fucking around with this, and I’m not continuing to play games,” he is quoted saying on another slide captioned: Avenatti Threatened Nike. “And I don’t–you know, this isn’t complicated. You guys know enough now to know you’ve got a serious problem. And it’s worth more in exposure to me to just blow the lid on this thing.”
Avenatti’s speech grows increasingly surly:
A few million dollars doesn’t move the needle for me. I’m just being really frank with you. So if that’s what, if that’s what is being contemplated, then let’s just say it was good to meet you, and we’re done. And I’ll proceed with my press conference tomorrow and I’ll hang up with you now and I’ll call the New York Times, who are awaiting my call. I-I’m not fucking around with this thing anymore.
The slides also reveal the devastatingly effective simplicity of the SDNY’s general theory of the case.
Government prosecutors stuck to two overarching arguments: (1) “The defendant threatened to harm Nike if Nike did not hire him;” and (2) “The defendant did not tell Gary Franklin what he was doing.”
Law&Crime has followed Avenatti’s ballsy exploits viz. the world’s largest shoe company from the very beginning.
In March 2019, the former Stormy Daniels stalwart was arrested on allegations that he tried to threaten Nike on the eve of an earnings call over serious concerns about those aforementioned and untoward NCAA antics. Also alleged was that Avenatti acted without the knowledge or consent of his then-client, Franklin, a youth basketball coach from whom he originally obtained the Nike-related dirt.
The slideshow cites Avenatti’s less-than-diligent efforts for Franklin during a discussion with Nike attorney Scott Wilson.
“I don’t think that it makes any sense for Nike to be paying, um, an exorbitant sum of money to Mr. Franklin, in light of his role in this,” the now-convicted lawyer says.
“Okay,” Wilson says.
“I mean, imagine that,” Avenatti responds–apparently citing Franklin’s own culpability in the alleged pay-to-play scheme.
Another slide suggests a bit more concern for his client.
“Well Scott, I mean look, I [sic] I just, I mean we’re gonna get a million five for our guy, and we’re gonna be hired to handle the internal investigation, and if you don’t wanna do that, we’re done,” Avenatti says.
But another shows for whom the real payday tolled.
“So if you guys think that you know, we’re gonna negotiate a million five, and we’re gonna, you’re gonna hire us to do an internal investigation, but it’s gonna be capped at 3 or 5 or 7 million dollars, like let’s just be done,” Avenatti says while trying to work out an agreement where he is personally hired by Nike to bury the corruption allegations.
View the government’s full presentation below:
[image via Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images]