STUDIO CITY (CBSLA) — A Santa Ana judge has ordered the law firm of Stormy Daniels’ attorney to pay $10 million to one of his former colleagues after reneging on a settlement arrangement.
The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday U.S. bankruptcy Judge Catherine Bauer demanded the payment from the firm of Eagan Avenatti, lawyer Michael Avenatti’s law practice. The firm must pay former lawyer at the firm Jason Frank the money after failing to pay an initial $2 million as part of a larger bankruptcy settlement.
“To settle his law firm’s bankruptcy, Avenatti had personally guaranteed that the $2 million would be paid to Frank last week, but both he and his firm failed to turn over the money,” the paper said.
Frank accused the firm, which is based in Newport Beach, of failing to pay him millions of dollars for his work.
The Times also reported Avenatti has failed to pay more than $440,000 in back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.
After Times journalist Michael Finnegan tweeted out his story, Avenatti went on the defensive, calling the story “nonsense” and adding this firm has nothing to do with Stormy Daniels’ legal representation.
CNN reported Eagan Avenatti failed to pay Frank a $4.85 million settlement stemming from a lawsuit last year, in which Frank claimed the firm owed him, “a non-equity partner,” $18 million. Avenatti’s firm was supposed to begin paying Frank the money last week with the first installment of $2 million.
The news organization said Avenatti texted them after they reached him for a comment regarding the ruling, to which he reportedly responded, “Completely irrelevant and a sideshow. Nothing was issued against me personally. That firm has nothing to do with the case or the client. Who cares?”
Avenatti has become a fixture of the cable TV news cycle, repeatedly condemning Donald Trump and his associates, specifically the president’s personal attorney Michael Cohen. Trump recently admitted paying Cohen after the attorney paid $130,000 in so-called “hush money” to Daniels, who has alleged having an affair with the president before his 2016 election.