Michael Avenatti asks for leniency after stealing $300K from Stormy Daniels — because he wrote letter saying he's 'sorry'
Michael Avenatti/Shuttershock

On Friday, the Associated Press reported that disgraced former celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti is pleading for leniency at sentencing after his conviction for stealing $300,000 from his former client, adult film star Stephanie Clifford, a.k.a. Stormy Daniels.

One of the reasons, his lawyers argued, is that he wrote Daniels a heartfelt apology letter.

"His lawyers cite a letter he sent to the porn actor saying he is truly sorry. His lawyers wrote on Thursday in a Manhattan federal court submission that he wants counseling and alcohol treatment. He was convicted of cheating Daniels of nearly $300,000 in book proceeds," said the report. "He tried to justify taking some proceeds by citing legal quests he took on for Daniels to negate the effects of a 2016 payment she said she received to remain silent about a tryst with Donald Trump."

“This sobering reality is as sufficient and powerful a punishment and deterrence as any," declared his lawyers. "Worse, Mr. Avenatti’s extreme rise and fall played out on the most public of platforms, an experience he is unlikely to ever recover from reputationally.”

Avenatti's conviction for stealing from Daniels, who also alleges he filed an ill-fated defamation suit against Trump in her name without her consent, is not the only criminal conviction secured against the firebrand California lawyer.

In 2021, Avenatti was sentenced to two years in prison for trying to extort $20 million from Nike. He has been hit with three dozen indictments including perjury, tax evasion, and stealing from clients, including a mentally ill paraplegic man who won a settlement from Los Angeles County.