U.S. District Judge James Selna. in a ruling late Friday. has allowed Michael Avenatti to be temporarily freed from a federal jail in New York City and allow him to stay at a friend’s house in Los Angeles until the pandemic coronavirus subsides.
The attorney, who rose to fame representing porn star Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against President Donald Trump, petitioned last month to be released to home confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying he was at high risk because he had a recent bout with pneumonia as well as a cellmate was removed due to flu-like symptoms.
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. Except for health emergencies he will be unable to leave Manheimer’s home without permission. He must post a $1 million bond, wear an electronic monitoring bracelet. and was forbidden to use any digital devices with internet access.
Avenatti was convicted in February of trying to extort up to $25 million from the athletic wear company Nike Inc. and is awaiting a June sentencing. He also faces criminal trials in New York of defrauding Daniels and in Los Angeles of cheating clients and others of millions of dollars. He has denied wrong doing.