Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Clare Bronfman’s lawyer Mark Geragos named co-conspirator in Michael Avenatti indictment

[Mark Geragos and Michael Avenatti]

We certainly didn’t see this coming. Just days after Seagram heiress Clare Bronfman told Judge Nicholas Garaufis that she definitely wanted to keep famous defense attorney Mark Geragos on her legal team even though his daughter, Teny Geragos, is representing her co-defendant Keith Raniere in the Nxivm prosecution, Geragos is making news for something entirely different: That he’s been named the co-conspirator in Michael Avenatti’s indictment for trying to shake down Nike.

We just got a look at the Avenatti indictment, which we have for you below. It repeatedly makes reference to Avenatti and “CC-1” — meaning co-conspirator one — meeting with or phoning Nike executives, threatening to release damaging information if the shoe giant didn’t pay their client $1.5 million and also pay Avenatti and his co-conspirator between $15 million to $25 million.

The Wall Street Journal and other news organizations are now reporting that the unnamed co-conspirator in the indictment is, in fact, Mark Geragos. CNN has announced that it’s cutting ties with the famous attorney.

Wow. What does that mean for Clare Bronfman’s defense? We really don’t know, but it sure throws a wrench into things with trial scheduled to start on April 29.

According to the indictment and a press conference held by prosecutors from the Southern District of New York, Avenatti represented an AAU amateur basketball coach who had a yearly sponsorship contract of $72,000 with Nike, and that the company had cut the contract.


The AAU coach claimed to have evidence that Nike was funneling money to some families of high school basketball stars. This was apparently the information that Avenatti threatened to release unless Nike paid huge amounts of money.

Avenatti threatened to hold a press conference on the eve of Nike’s quarterly earnings call and the start of the annual NCAA tournament at which he would announce allegations of misconduct by Nike. 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, i.e., Client-1, and agreed to “retain” Avenatti and CC-1 to conduct an “internal investigation” — for which Avenatti and CC-1 demanded to be paid, at minimum, between $15 and $25 million.

In a recorded phone call, Avenatti told the company, “If [Nike] wants to have one confidential settlement and we’re done, they can buy that for $22.5 million and we’re done.”

He also said he had Nike “by the balls.”

This morning, before his arrest, Avenatti announced on Twitter that he was about to reveal something big about Nike…


What a crazy sequence of events. And now, we’ll have to see how the reported participation of Geragos will play out. Will he be indicted as well? And will Bronfman losing one of her numerous lawyers mean a delay for the Nxivm trial?

Here’s the Avenatti indictment…

U S v Michael Avenatti Comp… by on Scribd


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 25, 2019 at 17:25

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Tony Ortega is a journalist who was formerly the editor of The Village Voice. He’s written about Scientology since 1995, and in May 2015 released a book about Scientology’s harassment of Paulette Cooper titled ‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely,’ and more recently a compilation of his stories, ‘Battlefield Scientology.’ He continues to monitor breaking developments in the Scientology world, as well as other subjects at The Underground Bunker. You can reach him by sending him a message at tonyo94 AT (Drop him a line if you’d like to get an e-mail whenever a new story is posted.)


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email