NFL

Michael Avenatti charged with trying to extort $20 million from Nike

Michael Avenatti charged with trying to extort $20 million from Nike @michaelavenatti

Federal prosecutors in New York have arrested and charged famed attorney Michael Avenatti with attempting to extort more than $20 million from Nike.

The charges claim Avenatti threatened to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial and reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met.

Avenatti, 48, has famously represented adult film star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Donald Trump and his former lawyer Michael Cohen.

The  complaint also allegedes, Avenatti threatened to hold a press conference on the eve of Nike’s quarterly earnings call and the start of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at which he would announce allegations of misconduct by Nike employees.

“Avenatti stated that he would refrain from holding the press conference and harming Nike only if Nike made a payment of $1.5 million to a client of Avenatti’s in possession of information damaging to Nike … and agreed to ‘retain’ Avenatti and [an unidentified co-conspirator] to conduct an ‘internal investigation’ — an investigation that Nike did not request, for which Avenatti and [the co-conspirator] demanded to be paid, at a minimum, between $15 [million] and $25 million,” the complaint said.

A spokesman for the Southern District of New York, ”the defendant was arrested earlier today and is in custody. He is expected to be presented in Manhattan federal court [Monday] afternoon.”

A co-conspirator identified by federal prosecutors as “an attorney licensed to practice in the state of California, and similarly known for representation of celebrity and public figure clients.” The complaint says Avenatti’s client is a “coach of an amateur athletic union (‘AAU’) men’s basketball program based in California.”

“For a number of years, the AAU program coached by Client-1 had a sponsorship agreement with Nike pursuant to which Nike paid the AAU program approximately $72,000 annually,” the complaint says.

Federal prosecutors announced the charges against Avenatti less than an hour after he tweeted that he was holding a press conference on Tuesday morning “to disclose a major high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated by @Nike that we have uncovered. This criminal conduct reaches the highest levels of Nike and involves some of the biggest names in college basketball.”

Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski Announces Retirement From NFL

Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski Announces Retirement From NFL @gronk

New England Patriots, Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement from the NFL via an Instagram post on Sunday. After nine seasons and three championships, he is putting an end to a career where he transcended the tight end position and was one of the league’s most colorful personalities.

“It all started at 20 years old on stage at the NFL draft when my dream came true, and now here I am about to turn 30 in a few months with a decision I feel is the biggest of my life so far,” the post began.

“I will be retiring from the game of football today. I am so grateful for the opportunity that Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick gave to me when drafting my silliness in 2010. My life experiences over the last 9 years have been amazing both on and off the field. The people I have meet, the relationships I have built, the championships I have been apart of, I just want to thank the whole New England Patriots organization for every opportunity I have been giving and learning the great values of life that I can apply to mine. Thank you to all of Pats Nation around the world for the incredible support since I have been apart of this 1st class organization. Thank you for everyone accepting who I am and the dedication I have put into my work to be the best player I could be. But now its time to move forward and move forward with a big smile knowing that the New England Patriots Organization, Pats Nation, and all my fans will be truly a big part of my heart for rest of my life. It was truly an incredible honor to play for such a great established organization and able to come in to continue and contribute to keep building success. To all my current and past teammates, thank you for making each team every year special to be apart of. I will truly miss you guys. Cheers to all who have been part of this journey, cheers to the past for the incredible memories, and a HUGE cheers to the uncertain of whats next.”

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It all started at 20 years old on stage at the NFL draft when my dream came true, and now here I am about to turn 30 in a few months with a decision I feel is the biggest of my life so far. I will be retiring from the game of football today. I am so grateful for the opportunity that Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick gave to me when drafting my silliness in 2010. My life experiences over the last 9 years have been amazing both on and off the field. The people I have meet, the relationships I have built, the championships I have been apart of, I just want to thank the whole New England Patriots organization for every opportunity I have been giving and learning the great values of life that I can apply to mine. Thank you to all of Pats Nation around the world for the incredible support since I have been apart of this 1st class organization. Thank you for everyone accepting who I am and the dedication I have put into my work to be the best player I could be. But now its time to move forward and move forward with a big smile knowing that the New England Patriots Organization, Pats Nation, and all my fans will be truly a big part of my heart for rest of my life. It was truly an incredible honor to play for such a great established organization and able to come in to continue and contribute to keep building success. To all my current and past teammates, thank you for making each team every year special to be apart of. I will truly miss you guys. Cheers to all who have been part of this journey, cheers to the past for the incredible memories, and a HUGE cheers to the uncertain of whats next.

A post shared by Rob Gronkowski (@gronk) on

Later Sunday evening quarterback Tom Brady shared this post:

What an honor and privilege to play with you these past nine years @gronk! You accomplished so much and our team was almost unbeatable when you were on the field! Your fun-loving, inspiring, and positive energy made an impact on everybody you came into contact with! Not just that, but for as great as a player you are, you are a better teammate and person. The NFL was a better place with you in it! But I have no doubt you will be a success in anything you do!!! Love you pal!

A team source said, the tight end called Patriots owner Robert Kraft and informed him of his decision, Kraft issued the following statement:

“In the nine years that I have known Rob Gronkowski, I have never known him to have a bad day, he always has a youthful exuberance about him and is a joy to be around. As a player, he earned the respect of his coaches and teammates for his hard work, preparation, selfless attitude and the sheer dominance of his game. ‘Gronk’ quickly became a fan favorite and the most dominant player at his position for nearly a decade. I look forward to honoring him in the near future as both a Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Famer. ”

Gronkowski’s 79 touchdown receptions since he joined the Patriots as a second-round draft choice in 2010 led the NFL. He had 10 or more touchdown receptions in five seasons, which is the most by a tight end in NFL history.

Gronkowski played in 115 regular-season games, totaling 521 receptions for 7,861 yards. He played in 16 playoff games, with 81 receptions for 1,163 yards and 12 touchdowns — all records for a tight end.

Gronkowski’s 12 postseason touchdown receptions are tied for second in NFL history among all players, behind Jerry Rice (22). He has four career 100-yard receiving games in the playoffs, tying him with Vernon Davis and Keith Jackson for the most by a tight end.

Robert Kraft’s Attorney’s File Motion to Suppress Evidence

Robert Kraft’s Attorney’s File Motion to Suppress Evidence @uproarxx

Attorneys for New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft filed a motion Wednesday to suppress evidence in his solicitation of prostitution case, according to a source.

The motion was filed as an effort to make sure that the surveillance video, described as graphic and damning, is not released to the public, should he not reach a plea deal with prosecutors.

The Palm Beach County State Attorney’s office offered Kraft and 24 other men a diversion deal Monday, that would allow the men to avoid prosecution if they meet certain conditions. A diversion deal would expunge their cases and seal all evidence.

Under the initial deal that was offered, prosecutors would drop misdemeanor solicitation charges if the men pay $5,000 fines for each offense (Kraft was charged with two), complete an educational course about prostitution, submit to testing for sexually transmitted diseases and admit in court that they would have been found guilty had the case gone to trial.

It’s that last point that could derail a deal.

A source close to Kraft said, “That’s not going to happen,” and said the 77-year-old would rather fight the charges in court than admit to a crime. Sources said that the two sides were continuing to negotiate and that Kraft had not rejected the deal outright.

Should Kraft accept a diversion program offer, it would be as if the incident never happened. But he would also essentially be admitting to the facts of the case: that he allegedly received sexual services at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida, on Jan. 19 and 20. Kraft has never specifically denied receiving sexual services at the spa, but through a spokesperson denied having committed a crime.

Kraft is said to be especially concerned about having his name connected to accusations of sex trafficking. When law enforcement officials first announced the arrests of spa operators last month, they described it as a sex trafficking case.

But documents show that the two women Kraft is accused of receiving services from likely were not trafficked: One is 39 and was charged with operating illegal activity at the spa; the other is 58. Both have valid driver’s licenses, and both are licensed as massage therapists by the state of Florida. So far, no one in the case has been charged with human trafficking.

Jessica Simpson gives birth to Baby No. 3!

Jessica Simpson gives birth to Baby No. 3! @jessicasimpson

Jessica Simpson and her husband Eric Johnson, welcomed their third child Tuesday.

Birdie Mae, weighed in at 10lbs., 13oz.

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Birdie Mae Johnson 3.19.19 10 Pounds 13 Ounces

A post shared by Jessica Simpson (@jessicasimpson) on

Simpson and the former NFL player also share son Ace Knute, 5 and daughter Maxwell “Maxi” Drew, 6.

In August, Simpson, 38, shared a cute Instagram post of the older siblings, with the caption “SURPRISE,”

as they prepared to pop two large polka-dot balloons to find out if they would be welcoming a little brother or sister into their family.

“This little baby girl will make us a family of five,” she added to a photo of her kids surrounded by smaller pink balloons. “We couldn’t be happier to announce this precious blessing of life.”

Tyreek Hill Under Investigation For Battery

Tyreek Hill Under Investigation For Battery @cheetah

According to multiple reports, Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill is under investigation for battery by the Overland Park, Kansas police along with the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office .  The investigation comes after Hill’s fiancee, Crystal Espinal, 24, filed multiple police reports listing their three-year-old son as the victim. Hill has not been charged with a crime.

Champion Daily has obtained a police report regarding the battery incident that lists a juvenile as the victim.  Espinal, 24, is listed under “others involved.” The report is dated March 14, 2019,  but it’s unclear when the alleged incident took place.

A source familiar with the situation said Hill’s fiancee has been in contact with Overland Park police. The source said also added the incident was against the couple’s 3-year-old son, resulting in a broken arm.  As of Friday afternoon, Hill had not been charged with a crime.

Hill, 25, is one of the Chiefs’ most prominent players. The team and the star receiver have been discussing a large contract extension that’s expected to make him among the highest-paid players at his position.

Hill has a history of domestic violence. He reportedly punched and choked Espinal, who was then eight weeks pregnant with their son, on Dec. 11, 2014. He was arrested and dismissed from the Oklahoma State football team. Hill pleaded guilty to domestic assault and battery by strangulation in August 2015. He received three years probation. The Chiefs selected Hill in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

The conviction was dismissed in August 2018 and ordered to be expunged after he completed his probation requirement.

In January, while appearing at the Pro Bowl in Orlando, Hill announced the couple were expecting again, twins.  

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