Michael Avenatti has demanded retractions from Michael Cohen after porn star Stormy Daniels compared her former lawyer to a ‘bad boyfriend’ in a podcast rant with the former Trump lawyer.
Cohen featured Daniels, 41, on his podcast Mea Culpa on February 8 to talk about their shared history with President Donald Trump.
Avenatti sent a letter soon after the episode aired demanding corrections and retractions for 24 allegedly libelous made by Cohen in the podcast and on MSNBC. in which he called Avenatti ‘a little mini Donald Trump,’ Daily Beast reported.
The podcast was the first time Daniels had met with Cohen since he infamously orchestrated a clandestine $130,000 payoff to her in order to cover up her alleged affair with the former president, according to the episode’s summary.
Stormy Daniels is pictured with her former lawyer Michael Avenatti, right, who she has compared to a ‘bad boyfriend’
Daniels made her statements on a podcast produced by Michael Cohen, who paid her $130,000 to cover up her affair with former President Donald Trump
Avenatti represented the adult-film actress in her lawsuits against Trump seeking to invalidate the 2016 non-disclosure agreement she had signed to keep quiet.
He was charged with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft after allegedly stealing nearly $300,000 from his former client while helping negotiate her 2018 book deal.
Avenatti was convicted in February 2020 of trying to extort millions of dollars from Nike and is scheduled to be sentenced in May.
In the podcast, Cohen called Avenatti a ‘Svengali figure’ and accused him of ‘planting the seed in Stormy’s head’ that he had sent people after her and her child — which is something he said he ‘would never’ do.
At the time, Cohen tried to sue Daniels for $20million for violation of the non-disclosure agreement, which Avenatti previously called a ‘thuggish tactic.’
Cohen accused Avenatti of ‘riding on Stormy’s coattails for his own 15 minutes of fame’ as Avenatti entertained the idea of running for president in 2020.
‘Avenatti has been out of Daniels’ life for a while now and she is in control of her own operation,’ Cohen said in the podcast.
Stormy Daniels, right, is pictured with Trump – who she allegedly had an affair with in 2006
Cohen said that the conversation with Daniels for his podcast was the first time the two had ever directly spoken, emailed, texted or otherwise communicated.
In the podcast, Daniels’ said she will ‘never forget’ the day Avenatti filed the defamation case against Trump and said she had told him she ‘didn’t want to do that.’
‘Did you know that I found out that case was filed on Twitter? I read it on f***ing Twitter,’ she said.
‘This is not something I wanted to get involved in. I believe in free speech. I don’t agree with what you say, but I agree with your right to say it – that whole thing.’
She said she later started to get behind the lawsuit because Trump calling her a liar is ‘absolutely defamation.’
‘I can say, Michael I think you’re ugly, or I think you’re too fat, or I think you’re too tall. But if I say, Michael you’re a thief, that’s the difference,’ Daniels said.
Cohen claimed that Avenatti ‘did the same thing’ to him, appearing to accuse him of defaming him when Avenatti called him a thug.
The former Trump lawyer was accused of sending someone to intimidate Daniels, and later sent a cease-and-desist letter to the porn star claiming he had nothing to do with the incident.
Later in the podcast, Cohen asked Daniels ‘when did you realize Avenatti was not the person you thought he was?’
‘A week after I met him.’ Daniels responded, noting she can’t address her former lawyer too much because she is appearing as a witness in an upcoming legal case with him.
Daniels ranted about ‘flirty’ Avenatti with Cohen and accused him of trying to dominate her life.
‘I always had a weird feeling in my gut. People think that he and I slept together or whatever, but I can tell you I never once – not one time – was I ever alone with him,’ she said.
She added: ‘I was never comfortable being alone with him and he got very controlling.’
Daniels accused Avenatti of demanding that she cancel her dancing bookings in clubs and even canceling some on her behalf without her consent.
‘He tried to control my entire existence. He showed up at my Vogue photoshoot and ended up in the magazine with me,’ she said.
‘He was almost the controlling boyfriend and I didn’t want to be a part of that.’
Daniels said Avenatti also made the custody situation between her and her ex ‘much worse.’
‘It’s all going to come out, but I have to just leave it at that for now,’ she said.
Cohen is serving the remainder of his sentence in his Manhattan apartment, where he is producing his podcast.
Cohen’s lawyers wrote to Avenatti after he sent his letter ‘categorically and emphatically generally and specifically’ denying each allegation of defamation.
‘This Demand, which is both frivolous and made in bad faith, will only lead to you garnering more negative press, which in my legal opinion you do not need given the many years in prison you are facing in multiple federal cases and in multiple jurisdictions including for your conduct involving Ms. Daniels and your other former clients,’ the response reads.
Cohen, in a statement to Daily Beast, related Avenatti and Trump – calling them both narcissistic sociopaths.
‘I extricated myself from one narcissistic sociopath with no interest in involving myself with another,’ Cohen told Daily Beast.
‘I’m looking forward to being present with Stormy at his sentencing proceeding.’