Disgraced attorney Michael Avenatti had his $250 million defamation lawsuit against Fox News dismissed after a judge ruled that the news organization had accurately reported charges against him.
Avenatti gained national prominence among critics of former President Donald Trump when he represented Stormy Daniels, an adult film star who accused Trump of paying her off to stay quiet about their extramarital affair. Some on the left were even floating Avenatti's name as a possible Democratic presidential candidate before he was convicted for an extortion scheme against Nike, Inc.
On Friday, Avenatti, 50, was dealt another courtroom defeat.
U.S. Circuit Judge Stephanos Bibas said in his ruling that most of what Fox News reported about Avenatti was "substantially" true.
"And Avenatti does not plausibly plead that Fox or its employees knew that the statements were false or recklessly disregarded that possibility," he explained. "He also fails to allege any recoverable damages."
Avenatti argued that he had been arrested but not charged with domestic violence in 2018 while Fox News had reported that he had been charged. The judge said that was a "minor error."
The network released a statement about the ruling.
"We are pleased with the Court's swift decision in favor of FOX News," the network said. "Today's ruling is a victory for journalists everywhere, who should not be intimidated into silence when bullies like Michael Avenatti file baseless multimillion-dollar lawsuits."
Avenatti was sentenced in July to 30 months in prison after he was convicted of extortion. He is facing a lawsuit from former clients who accused him of embezzlement, and also another lawsuit from Daniels accusing him of stealing money from her. He has denied those claims.
Here's more about Avenatti's legal troubles:
Michael Avenatti seen weeping in court after sentencing www.youtube.com