"He had a better defense on this case, the extortion of Nike, than he does on the remaining case out in California which alleges that he stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from his own client".
The verdict was returned Friday by a federal jury in Manhattan following a three-week trial in which prosecutors said Avenatti threatened to use his media access to hurt Nike's reputation and stock price unless the company paid him up to $25 million.
In 2018, the company ended its sponsorship of Franklin's program, the California Supreme.
Franklin testified that two Nike executives forced him to pay money to the mother of an elite high school basketball player's mother and to pass along payments to the handlers of other players while doctoring paperwork to hide the objective of the funds.
Avenatti did not testify, but his lawyers said he was following the wishes of Franklin and an entertainment executive who advised him to be aggressive to force Nike to fire corrupt executives and fix its culture.
The brash lawyer was all but unknown until two years ago when he began representing the adult film actress Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against US President Donald Trump and making hundreds of television appearances.
Attorney Michael Avenatti leaving court on October 8, 2019.
Mr. Trump has denied the claims, and he and Avenatti have frequently attacked each other on Twitter.
Franklin testified he did not want a probe or press conference, preferring a quiet settlement. Avenatti alleged that Justice Kavanaugh engaged in "gang rape".
Avenatti's legal problems may only grow.
Avenatti also stands accused of stealing $300,000 from former client Stormy Daniels, earned from her memoir "Full Disclosure", and also forging her signature.
They had looked up firms that had "successfully sued Nike" and said it was time to "go after Nike". defense attorney Scott Srebnick said in closing arguments.