Convicted Anti-Trump celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti will be allowed to be temporarily freed from jail after a California judge agreed the coronavirus was a compelling reason to release him.
Prior to being convicted of trying to extort up to $25 million from Nike, Avenatti was a regular on new channels as an anti-Trump commentator including appearances on CNN and “The View.”
Avenatti even discussed a 2020 Presidential run at the peak of his fame.
Yahoo reports the convicted celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti has been granted temporary freedom from a New York City jail by a California federal judge who said the spread of the novel coronavirus was a compelling reason to release him.
In an order late on Friday, U.S. District Judge James Selna said Avenatti, who represented adult film actress Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against U.S. President Donald Trump, may stay at a friend’s home during the 90-day release period.
Avenatti, 49, must first be quarantined for 14 days at a Federal Bureau of Prisons facility, to ensure he does not have the coronavirus or symptoms, before moving to the home of Jay Manheimer in Venice, California.
Selna, who has called Avenatti a “danger to the community,” said the lawyer would wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, have no internet access, and except for health emergencies be unable to leave Manheimer’s home without permission. Bond was set at $1 million.
Avenatti was convicted in February of trying to extort up to $25 million from the athletic wear company Nike Inc (NKE.N).
He still awaits criminal trials in Manhattan on charges he defrauded Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, and in Santa Ana, California on charges he defrauded other clients and lied to the Internal Revenue Service and a bankruptcy court.
“Our primary concern has been to prepare for the upcoming trials,” Avenatti’s lawyer Dean Steward said in an email on Saturday. “Mr. Avenatti’s release will help us build our defense.”
The U.S. Department of Justice agreed to the release terms.