Avenatti has strongly denied any wrongdoing in these cases and says he will eventually be exonerated, but it looks now like he is not so sure.
Celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti is famous for his seemingly unwavering faith in his inevitable, eventual victory in whatever current scandal he finds himself at the center of, but after being arrested Monday by the feds — who say they've caught him red-handed on tape attempting to "shakedown" one of the most powerful companies in the world — Avenatti made a rare admission to CBS News Tuesday: He's "scared."
"Of course I'm nervous," the former lawyer of porn star Stormy Daniels told CBS News' Jericka Duncan in an interview that will air in full Wednesday. "I am nervous. I'm concerned. I'm scared. I feel terrible for my family. I feel bad for my friends."
Famous for his defiant self-assurance, even after losing multiple legal battles with Donald Trump and amid mounting financial and legal problems, Avenatti struck a different tone with CBS after FBI agents laid out a potentially devastating case against him and his alleged co-conspirator, fellow celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos, who counts Jussie Smollett and Colin Kaepernick among his lists of clients.
On Monday, Avenatti was arrested and charged with extortion in an alleged "shakedown" attempt of Nike for millions of dollars. In a complaint submitted to the Southern District of New York, FBI Special Agent Christopher Harper alleges that over the course of a few days this month, Avenatti and an unnamed co-conspirator, who multiple reports say is Geragos, "devised a scheme to extort a company [Nike] by means of an interstate communication by threatening to damage the company's reputation if the company did not agree to make multi-million dollar payments to Avenatti and [his co-conspirator], and further agree to pay $1.5 million to a client of Avenatti's."