According to the Los Angeles Times, Michael Avenatti, the former attorney of NBA star Hassan Whiteside's ex-girlfriend, Alexis Gardner, has reportedly been accused of allegedly hiding a payment Whiteside made to her.
In January 2017, Whiteside wired $2.75 million to Avenatti, with the intent of most of the money to be received by Gardner. Gardner had hired Avenatti to help negotiate a settlement of a potential lawsuit against Whiteside.
Whiteside agreed to pay $3 million total. The $2.75 million wire served as an initial payment. The Los Angeles Times reporst that prosecutors said Avenatti was entitled to take over $1 million in legal fees. However, he allegedly took $2.5 million to buy a share of a private jet.
“We entered into a mutually agreed upon settlement more than two years ago following the end of our relationship; a settlement that reflected Alexis’ investment of time and support over a number of years as Hassan pursued a career in the NBA,” Whiteside and Gardner told the Los Angeles Times in a statement released by his agent. “It is unfortunate that something that was meant to be kept private between us is now being publicly reported. We have both moved on amicably and wish nothing but the best for each other.”
Gardner is one of five people whom prosecutors allege have accused Avenatti of theft.
In late March, it was reported that Avenatti allegedly attempted to extort millions from Nike. He was later arrested and charged with extortion attempt and fraud.
Prior to his own legal battles, Avenatti made headlines for his representation of Stormy Daniels and for delivering videos to Chicago Police that he claimed included evidence of R. Kelly’s sexual contact with underage girls.
Information from SI.com and the Los Angeles Times contributed to this report.