The convicted celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti has been granted temporary freedom from a New York City jail by a California federal judge who said the spread of the novel coronavirus was a compelling reason to release him. In an order late on Friday, U.S. District Judge James Selna said Avenatti, who represented adult film actress Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against U.S. President Donald Trump, may stay at a friend’s home during the 90-day release period.
Avenatti, 49, must first be quarantined for 14 days at a Federal Bureau of Prisons facility, to ensure he does not have the coronavirus or symptoms, before moving to the home of Jay Manheimer in Venice, California. Selna, who has called Avenatti a “danger to the community,” said the lawyer would wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, have no internet access, and except for health emergencies be unable to leave Manheimer’s home without permission.
In February, Avenatti was convicted of attempting to extort $25 million from Nike. He still faces charges for allegedly defrauding his former client Stormy Daniels.