Michael Avenatti, who was convicted of extortion, has filed a claim against the federal Bureau of Prisons for mistreatment, claiming guards only allowed him to read Donald Trump’s “The Art of the Deal.”
He is seeking $94 million from the government, $1 million for each day he says he was held in solitary confinement, according to a filing first obtained by CBS News. This claim is the first step toward a potential lawsuit.
In the new filing, he said he was mistreated during his incarceration because of his criticisms of not only former President Trump, but former Attorney General William Barr. Avenatti was, memorably, the lawyer who represented adult actress Stormy Daniels, who said she had an affair with Trump and was paid not to go public about it.
Under the Federal Tort Claims Act, he alleges that the federal government is liable for intentionally inflicting emotional distress, negligently inflicting emotional distress, false imprisonment and false arrest during his time at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center in 2020.
In the event a settlement is not reached or the BOP denies Avenatti’s claim within six months, he can file a lawsuit under the FTCA against the country in federal court.
In addition to only letting him read Trump’s famous book, Avenatti claims prison officials limited his contact with his fellow inmates, as well as friends and family. He also says he was subjected to harsh conditions in the wing where he was housed.
A BOP spokesperson told CBS News the bureau “does not comment on pending litigation or matters subject to legal proceedings.”