Porn star Stormy Daniels is battling President Donald Trump and his lawyer, and she's got a powerful attorney by her side. But who is Michael Avenatti anyway? The 47-year-old litigator was famous long before Stormy's 60 Minutes interview, both for his high-profile cases and also for his own media appearances. Here's the scoop on this lawyer, entrepreneur, and occasional race car driver.
He is married, though perhaps not for long
According to Orange County, CA, court documents cited by Heavy.com, Michael filed for divorce from his wife of six years in December, saying she kicked him out of their house and changed the locks. They share a three-year-old son.
He has represented other celebrities
On his website, Michael says he has helped represent Christina Aguilera and The Eagles' Don Henley and Glen Frey. He has also participated in lawsuits against famous folks, too, including a wrongful death suit against Jim Carrey and a defamation case against Paris Hilton. Plus, this Stormy Daniels case isn't even his first brush with Trump: He previously represented a man who sued the future President and other producers of The Apprentice for allegedly ripping off his idea.
He had a falling out with Patrick Dempsey
According to The Seattle Times, Michael owns the company Global Baristas, of which Grey's Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey was a partner. But the coffee venture left the actor with a bitter taste in his mouth. He sued in 2013, claiming Michael hadn't funded the deal as promised and saying he was pursuing arbitration "to address several personal claims I have against Michael Avenatti that arise out of or relate to his actions with respect to Global Baristas." (Michael said the suit was "much ado about nothing.")
He's a race car driver
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) June 7, 2015
Michael doesn't mention anything about his racing career in his website bio, but he has participated in many professional races (just like Patrick Dempsey). Per Driver Database, he has entered 34 competitions, including the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship and the 2015 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.
"He is an adrenaline junkie," Jonathan Turley, one of Michael's instructors at George Washington University's law school, tells The Washington Post. "I think he needs that adrenaline rush. He lives his life aggressively. In both litigation and in life he shows a certain aggressive style."