A day after being charged with attempted extortion, attorney Michael Avenatti continued to press his case against Nike Inc., taking to Twitter early Tuesday to publicize his claims that the sneaker giant made payments to amateur basketball players and their families.
Avenatti, who seized the spotlight last year as a lawyer for former adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, was arrested Monday and charged with allegedly attempting to extort more than $20 million from Nike, as well as bank fraud in another case. He was released on bond late Monday.
On Tuesday, Avenatti wrote on Twitter that “we never attempted to extort Nike & when the evidence is disclosed, the public will learn the truth about Nike’s crime & coverup.”
Avenatti alleged in a series of tweets that people close to Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton, the No. 1 pick in last year’s NBA draft, and University of Oregon player Bol Bol, the son of the late NBA star Manute Bol, both received sums from Nike. “The receipts are clear as day,” Avenatti wrote. “A lot of people at Nike will have to account for their criminal conduct.”
Nike Inc. shares were trading at $83.34 per share on Tuesday afternoon, up $1.01 (+1.23%). Year-to-date, NKE has gained 12.70%, versus a 12.73% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
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