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On the most recent episode of the Michael Avenatti legal drama, one of the now-infamous lawyer's former clients, and the defendant they went after, have come forward due to Avenatti's alleged shenanigans. And this time it doesn't involve any adult entertainers, nor politicians.
Apparently, a couple years ago, Avenatti facilitated a settlement paid by Hassan Whiteside, of the Miami Heat, to his former girlfriend, Alexis Gardner. But, perhaps given the story that’s being reported, we should say a settlement Whiteside paid to Avenatti, because, allegedly, he kept the bulk of it for himself. Of the nearly $3 million settlement, Gardner allegedly got just under $200k.
The nature of the settlement between Whiteside and Gardner is still being kept quiet (after all, that's insignificant in the case against Avenatti). Interestingly, despite being opposing parties, the two seem to agree that their personal matter doesn't need to be aired publicly any further than it has to.
The unlikely pair issued a joint statement explaining that the settlement involved the ending of their relationship as well as the “investment of time and support” provided by Gardner to Whiteside while he was pursuing his NBA career. But did not go into any further details as to what prompted the dispute or settlement.
Notably, it is being alleged that Avenatti took much of the money he embezzled from Gardner and dumped it into a share of a private plane. Although he stood to make a cool million dollars for his services, when he received the settlement money, it’s alleged that he told Gardner that the amount received only covered his legal fees. He explained that she would receive her share in 96 monthly installments. Sadly, those installment payments stopped in June 2018.
Surprisingly, this tactic from Avenatti allegedly is one that he used with other clients as well, including one mentally ill disabled individual who claimes not to have recieved the full proceeds of his settlement under similarly suspicious circumstances.