Michael Avenatti told The Daily Beast Tuesday that he believes the Russian government is trying to plant damaging stories about him in the press, without any evidence to support this claim.
Avenatti, the media-friendly attorney representing porn star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Donald Trump, claims two members of the media and a “high ranking American intelligence official” informed him of the Russian plot.
“They’re doing it because they see me as a threat, a considerable threat,” he told The Daily Beast. “If we weren’t a threat, none of this would be happening.”
Avenatti also told The Daily Beast that members of the Russian government are trying to spread a story that he once traveled to Moscow and had sexual relationships with several women during his trip.
“They were trying to claim that I too had taken a trip to Moscow,” Avenatti said to The Daily Beast. “I’ve never been to Moscow in my life. I’ve never traveled to Russia in my life.”
The Daily Beast says Avenatti did not substantiate any of these allegations.
“They suggested that I had had a liaison with multiple women in Russia,” he added. “I found that to be rather ironic.”
Avenatti claims these same nefarious Russian figures are telling others that he once had Russian and Ukrainian clients that had business interests with the U.S. government. The media seeking attorney denies he ever had such clients.
“I think I’ve been nervous for the entirety of the case,” Avenatti told The Daily Beast. “Certainly this raises the stakes. But we’re not going to pack up and go home. I’m not going to change what I’m doing just because the Russians don’t like it.”
Since regularly appearing on a variety of news programs, a number of stories have run scrutinizing Avenatti’s business and personal history.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reported in May about his difficulties running West-Coast-based Tully’s Coffee, which recently had to suspend all commercial operations.
In response, Avenatti threatened to sue TheDCNF and the two reporters who were behind the story personally. Avenatti has yet to produce any errors in TheDCNF’s reporting.
Shortly after, TheDCNF uncovered that Avenatti’s company has yet to pay a six-figure judgment to a former employee of Tully’s who a judge found was wrongly terminated in a sex-discrimination case.
A DCNF investigation into Avenatti’s divorce records showed that Avenatti’s estranged wife, Lisa Storie-Avenatti, once accused him of being “emotionally abusive.” Storie-Avenatti has since denied any abuse in their relationship.
A version of this article appeared on The Daily Caller News Foundation website.
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