The camera-hungry lawyer representing Stormy Daniels may have implicated himself or his client in a crime — and potentially opened her up to a $20 million lawsuit.
The aging porn star’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti’s thirst for fame may come with a hefty price tag for his equally desperate client.
According to a legal analysis by lawyer Robert Barnes on Law and Crime, Avenatti “chose to file the suit that disclosed confidential information publicly, rather than under seal, in his suit to set aside the non-disclosure confidentiality agreement. By doing so, Avenatti exposed his client to a $20M judgment.”
"Avenatti chose to file the #StormyDaniels suit publicly even thought the suit disclosed confidential information, rather than under seal. By doing so, Avenatti exposed #StormyDaniels to a $20M judgment." Most expensive "exposure" ever for the porn star? https://t.co/SVFHGpeO5O https://t.co/OuwnprA2s1
— Robert Barnes (@barnes_law) March 26, 2018
The report explained that courts across the nation have ruled that this simple act alone is often grounds for a summary judgement due to it being a breach of a material provision of a confidentiality agreement.
Additionally, Avenatti tweeted of a photo of a DVD which he claims contains additional evidence and was being used as a “warning shot.” If this DVD contains a sex tape as many have speculated, it would be revenge porn of the worst kind — and he has opened his client up to criminal prosecution.
If “a picture is worth a thousand words,” how many words is this worth?????#60minutes #pleasedenyit #basta pic.twitter.com/eCkU0JBZaR
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) March 23, 2018
If the DVD is in fact revenge porn, the mere existence of it can be a crime in California if it was filmed without Trump’s knowledge or consent.
“California Penal Code section 632 criminalizes any person who ‘without the consent of all parties’ records their activity. California Penal Code 637.2 specifically authorizes a private suit, with a treble-damages award. All that is required is for the injured party to show they did not consent and that they had a ‘reasonable expectation’ no recording was taking place,” lawyer Robert Barnes explained on Law and Crime. “Ask the Gawker jury how jurors feel about the disclosure of private tapes.”
Second, Barnes points out that California Penal Code 647(j) makes secretly recording sexual activity a crime, labelling it an “invasion of privacy.”
Third, if it is a tape and is released, it would be considered non-consensual disclosure of recorded sexual activity — even if it was filmed with consent, according to California Penal Code 647(j)(4).
Avenatti and his client’s political motivations would also come into play in a civil suit.