Michael Avenatti grilled his former client, porn star Stormy Daniels, about comments she made about him being sexually assaulted in prison and her claims that she’s able to speak to the dead at his criminal trial in Manhattan federal court Friday morning.
The disgraced attorney, who is accused of stealing nearly $300,000 from Daniels in 2018, began his cross-examination of his former client Friday by highlighting the statements she made on a podcast and on social media about him being raped in prison.
“On Sept. 27, 2019 … You stated that I was ‘f—ing myself pretty nice and hard and that when I go to prison, there will be a long line of people to ass-rape me,’” Avenatti, who is acting as his own attorney at the trial, asked Daniels.
The adult entertainer said she didn’t recall the specific statement, but did not deny making it.
Avenatti then raised a statement Daniels made on Twitter about her having a brand of sex lubricant that he could use in prison.
“You suggested you could put Tabasco sauce in the lube and bring it to me in prison, so I could be anally raped,” he asked Daniels, who did not deny making the statement.
Avenatti then quizzed Daniels on a series of statements she made about her alleged paranormal abilities, which she has advertised for a forthcoming television show, “Spooky Babes.”
Daniels has claimed she’s able to speak with the dead, read Tarot cards, see through the walls of a house, and be put into a trance that gives her the ability to solve crimes, according to her testimony.
“You believe that you’re a medium,” Avenatti asked.
“Yes,” Daniels responded, clarifying for Judge Jesse Furman that she believes a medium is someone who communicates with spirits, “non-living, to be specific.”
On one occasion in 2019, Daniels claimed that a doll named Susan was buckled in the backseat of a car near her home in New Orleans — but somehow became unbuckled and ended up face down on the floor of the car.
The doll called “Mommy, Mommy” to Daniels, she previously said, according to her testimony.
In another instance that year, Daniels claimed to have the spirit of a woman in her home who was “sobbing and cutting her wrists in an attempt to kill herself.”
Federal authorities allege Avenatti siphoned off two payments of book-advance money that was supposed to be paid to Daniels. The payments totaled nearly $300,000.
During her testimony yesterday, Daniels reviewed a series of text messages and other communications that showed her repeatedly asking Avenatti for her money.
Avenatti, who was her lawyer at the time, allegedly forged Daniels’ signature on a letter to get the payments sent to a bank account he controlled.
Avenatti faces a maximum of 22 years in prison if he’s convicted on two charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. He has maintained his innocence.
The pair rose to national prominence during the administration of President Donald Trump after it was revealed Daniels was paid $130,000 by former Trump fixer Michael Cohen to keep quiet about an alleged sexual encounter she had with the former president years earlier.
Trump denies ever having sex with Daniels.
Avenatti was convicted in 2020 of attempting to extort sportswear giant Nike for $25 million. He was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for the scheme.