The attorney for adult film star Stormy Daniels is now blaming the Russian government, without any proof, for "trying to plant damaging stories about him in media outlets," suggesting that he has been to Moscow and had a liaison with multiple Russian women, according to the Daily Beast.
Avenatti did not offer concrete proof to support the claim, but said two media figures and a high-ranking American intelligence official have all told him about the alleged Russian effort.
“They’re doing it because they see me as a threat, a considerable threat,” he said. “If we weren’t a threat, none of this would be happening.”
Avenatti said Russians have also been saying he previously represented Russian and Ukrainian legal interests before the U.S. government. He said he has never represented any Russian or Ukrainian entities. -Daily Beast
“They were trying to claim that I too had taken a trip to Moscow,” Avenatti said. “I’ve never been to Moscow in my life, I’ve never traveled to Russia in my life.”
“They suggested that I had had a liaison with multiple women in Russia,” he added. “I found that to be rather ironic.”
Since representing Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, skeletons in Avenatti's closet have been pouring out - in large part due to reporting by the Daily Caller as well as citizen journalists.
Questions have emerged over who's funding Avenatti, how he was privy to Trump attorney Michael Cohen's bank records - and how exactly did he obtain banking transactions for two men also named Michael Cohen, who he wrongly accused in a seven-page "dossier" released this week.
Other questions have come to light over a bankrupt coffee chain Avenatti left in smoldering ashes with $5 million in unpaid taxes to the IRS, an alleged $160,000 owed for unpaid coffee, and over 45 lawsuits filed in connection with the failed venture.
Bitter coffee deal
As outlined in a legal complaint seeking Avenatti's disbarment, the balding provocateur "bought a company out of bankruptcy and then used it for a "pump and dump" scheme to deprive federal and state taxing authorities of millions of dollars," which left over $5 million in unpaid taxes to the IRS.
Avenatti purchased Tully's out of bankruptcy in 2013, in partnership with actor Patrick Dempsey, who is best known for his role as Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd in the TV show "Grey's Anatomy." Dempsey sued Avenatti in August 2013 to break off the partnership.
Since then, Tully's has significantly struggled. More than 45 lawsuits have been filed against the chain's parent company, which Avenatti says he no longer owns. In 2017, the company owed roughly $5 million in unpaid taxes to the Internal Revenue Service. And, in March, the coffee chain abruptly closed all locations. -Business Insider
Not everybody owes $5M+ in federal taxes...meet Michael Avenatti... pic.twitter.com/6TLLN7oJIC— Robert Barnes (@Barnes_Law) May 9, 2018
According to Dempsey, Avenatti was supposed to bankroll the deal through his company, Global Baristas, but didn't have the funds - instead borrowing $2 million at an "exorbitant" 15% to close on the transaction. The actor sued to get out of the partnership after he claimed "Avenatti concealed the Loan and the Security Agreement from Dempsey."
Since 2013, 46 cases have been filed against Global Baristas US LLC and its parent company, Global Baristas LLC in Washington's King County Superior Court.
Avenatti's estranged wife also said under oath he's "emotionally abusive" and "vindictive."
Lisa Storie-Avenatti said under oath that Michael Avenatti threatened to "burn" all of their money on their divorce, and would call the police to arrest both of them so that child protective services would take their son into protective custody. Storie-Avenatti's attorneys argued in court that this was further proof that Avenatti "is angry and vindictive, and has no regard for emotional harm caused to his son, his daughter or to Lisa."
In a sworn court declaration TheDCNF reviewed, Lisa Storie-Avenatti asked a California court to grant her exclusive use of their marital home after she said her husband threatened and emotionally abused her. Both parties now dispute this account, as they finalize their divorce.
Despite these recent denials, Storie-Avenatti alleged her husband threatened to call the police and get them both arrested, which would cause her to lose custody of their son and put him into the hands of the state’s child protective services. -TheDCNF
Avenatti and his estranged wife both dispute her testimony - marking the second time he has been accused of wrongdoing, only for his accuser to retract their claim after the Daily Caller reached out for comment.