- Just last week, Avenatti and an unnamed fellow attorney for high-profile clients met with Nike’s attorneys. They said they had a client with information about alleged payoffs Nike made to the families of high-profile high school basketball recruits.
- The two of them demanded not only that their client be compensated $1.5 million, but that they personally be given at least $15 million to $25 million to conduct an internal investigation of the company.
- Avenatti initially gave Nike only a matter of hours to decide what to do about his demands and said he would otherwise go public with his allegations just in time for the start of the NCAA basketball tournament — and for Nike’s quarterly earnings call. He repeatedly suggested that his going public would cost the company billions of dollars in market capital.
- Nike’s attorneys apparently tried to get Avenatti to admit to his scheme on tape, and Avenatti doesn’t appear to have recognized that. According to the indictment, “[Nike] Attorney-1 also reiterated, at the direction of law enforcement, that Attorney-1 did not think paying client $1.5 million would be a ‘stumbling block,’ but asked whether there would be any way to avoid AVENATTI carrying out the threatened press conference without Nike retaining AVENATTI and [Co-Conspirator 1]. … AVENATTI noted that he did not think it made sense for Nike to pay Client-1 an ‘exorbitant sum of money’ in light of his role in this. … After returning, AVENATTI stated, in part, ‘If [Nike] wants to have one confidential settlement and we’re done, they can buy that for twenty-two and half million dollars, and we’re done. … Full confidentiality, we ride off into the sunset …’”
- Even about an hour before his indictment, Avenatti was tweeting about holding the news conference that he is accused of threatening as part of the alleged extortion plot.
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.— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) March 25, 2019