It’s not been a good couple weeks for Michael Avenatti, the notorious attorney who is representing adult entertainment star Stormy Daniels against President Trump and has teased a presidential run.
First, there was his arrest after his young girlfriend accused him of domestic abuse. Estonian actress Mareli Miniutti claims Avenatti verbally abused her before violently dragging her out of the apartment they shared and tossing her out in the hallway in her underwear.
She says that’s not the only time he abused her. Avenatti denies ever harming her and has been released after meeting bail.
Daniels called the allegations “serious and obviously very troubling.” She made it clear that “if these allegations prove true, I will be seeking new representation.”
Now, according to the Daily Beast, the lawyer has irked his client again, enough that she’s seriously considering telling him “you’re fired!”
She released the following statement to the Beast:
“For months I’ve asked Michael Avenatti to give me accounting information about the fund my supporters so generously donated to for my safety and legal defense. He has repeatedly ignored those requests.
Days ago I demanded again, repeatedly, that he tell me how the money was being spent and how much was left. Instead of answering me, without my permission or even my knowledge Michael launched another crowdfunding campaign to raise money on my behalf. I learned about it on Twitter.
I haven’t decided yet what to do about legal representation moving forward. Michael has been a great advocate in many ways. I’m tremendously grateful to him for aggressively representing me in my fight to regain my voice.
But in other ways Michael has not treated me with the respect and deference an attorney should show to a client. He has spoken on my behalf without my approval.
He filed a defamation case against Donald Trump against my wishes. He repeatedly refused to tell me how my legal defense fund was being spent. Now he has launched a new crowdfunding campaign using my face and name without my permission and attributing words to me that I never wrote or said.
I’m deeply grateful to my supporters and they deserve to know their money is being spent responsibly. I don’t want to hurt Michael, but it’s time to set the record straight. The truth has always been my greatest ally.
My goal is the same as it has always been — to stand up for myself and take back my voice after being bullied and intimidated by President Trump and his minions. One way or another I’m going to continue in that fight, and I want everyone who has stood by me to know how profoundly grateful I am for their support.”
In reply to her statement, Avenatti shot back, insisting that he’s “always been an open book with Stormy,” and has “sacrificed an enormous amount of money, time and energy toward assisting her.” He said that the “vast majority of the money raised has gone toward her security expenses and similar other expenses” instead of the legal fees she owes him.
Time will tell if Avenatti will weather this newest storm.