The Blast reports that the attorney who has been pushing for R. Kelly’s prosecution recently threatened Nike attorneys that they would be met with the same public scrutiny as Kelly and Donald Trump, unless they paid him a large sum to handle the situation. According to a criminal complaint, Michael Avenatti met with attorneys at Nike in New York on March 21st. The meeting was audio and visually recorded, with the content of Nike’s attorneys. However, the site reports that Avenatti was not aware the meeting was being recorded.
During the meeting, Avenatti allegedly threatened “as soon as this becomes public, I am going to receive calls from all over the country from parents and coaches and friends and all kinds of people – this is always what happens.” Avenatti was referring to what he thought would be public backlash after he announced his accusations against Nike, that they allegedly illegally paid the families of high school athletes. The attorney continued, “whether it’s R. Kelly or Trump, the list goes on and on – but 10% of it is actually going to be true, and then what’s going to happen is that this is going to snowball.”
News later surfaced on Monday (March 25th) via the Business Insider that Avenatti was arrested for attempting to extort over $20 million from Nike. A criminal complaint was filed against him charging that he “devised a scheme to extort a company by means of an interstate communication by threatening to damage the company’s reputation if the company did not agree to make multi-million dollar payments to Avenatti and [co-conspirator], and further agree to pay an additional $1.5 million to a client of Avenatti’s.” Prosecutors from the Southern District of New York said in a legal documents that he tried to get the money by “threatening to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial & reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met.”
It’s worth noting that he tweeted on Monday (March 25th), “Tmrw at 11 am ET, we will be holding a press conference to disclose a major high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated by @Nike that we have uncovered. This criminal conduct reaches the highest levels of Nike and involves some of the biggest names in college basketball.”