Disgraced television lawyer Michael Avenatti — who was arrested Monday for several alleged financial crimes — was once a fixture on major cable news networks and according to a now-deleted photo, used to party with some of the media’s most high-profile personalities.
In May 2018, CNN political analyst Errol Louis’ wife, Juanita Scarlett, tweeted a picture with Avenatti, CNN host Don Lemon, and CNN pundit Margaret Hoover, grinning ear-to-ear at a party together.
Stephen Miller, an opinion writer whose work has appeared in the New York Post, managed to capture a screenshot of the photo before it was scrubbed from Scarlett’s account, which was set to private as the tweet began making the rounds on “Media Twitter.”
“It’s okay. I saved that deleted tweet of CNN hosts partying it up with Avenatti. Why would such a thing need to be deleted?” Miller wrote in a tweet to Scarlett.
It’s okay. I saved that deleted tweet of CNN hosts partying it up with Avenatti. Why would such a thing need to be deleted? pic.twitter.com/iutCtnwaxi
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) May 17, 2018
The photo’s reemergence on social media Monday comes as U.S. prosecutors on two coasts have charged Avenatti with extortion and bank and wire fraud. A spokesman for the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles said the former lawyer of pornstar Stormy Daniels was arrested hours ago in New York. In the New York case, he is accused of threatening to use his ability to get publicity to harm Nike by extorting the sports apparel giant for $20 million.
In the California case, Avenatti is accused of embezzling a client’s money to pay his own expenses and debts — as well as those of his coffee business and law firm. The U.S. attorney’s office also said he defrauded a bank by using phony tax returns to obtain millions of dollars in loans.
The AP contributed to this report.