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Judge releases Michael Avenatti from jail over coronavirus threat

The attorney, who rose to fame representing porn star Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against President Donald Trump, petitioned to be released to home confinement.

LOS ANGELES — A judge has allowed Michael Avenatti to be temporarily freed from a federal jail in New York City and to ride out the coronavirus scare at a friend's house in Los Angeles.

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. He said he was at high risk of getting the coronavirus because he had a recent bout with pneumonia and his cellmate at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan was removed due to flu-like symptoms.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge James Selna said Avenatti may stay at the home of Jay Mannheimer, near Venice Beach, during the 90-day release period but he first must get tested for COVID-19 and be quarantined for 14 days at a Federal Bureau of Prisons facility. He must also post $1 million bond and wear an electronic monitoring bracelet. The judge forbid Avenatti to use any digital devices with internet access.

Credit: AP
FILE - In this Friday, July 27, 2018 file photo, Michael Avenatti, the attorney for porn actress Stormy Daniels talks to the media during a news conference in front of the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Los Angeles. A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit against President Donald Trump by porn actress Stormy Daniels that sought to tear up a hush-money settlement about an alleged affair. Judge S. James Otero ruled Thursday, March 7, 2019, in U.S. District Court that the suit was irrelevant after Trump and his former personal lawyer agreed to rescind a nondisclosure agreement Daniels signed in exchange for a $130,000 payment. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

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Avenatti is awaiting a June sentencing after he was convicted of trying to extort $25 million from sportswear giant Nike. 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 wrongdoing.

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