(LEX 18) — Attorneys for Michael Avenatti have filed a motion to have extortion charges against the outspoken lawyer dismissed.
Court documents show that Avenatti claims to have evidence that a Nike employee approved payments to two well-known basketball players, Romeo Langford and Zion Wiliamson. Among the evidence is a text conversation between Carlton Debose, a Nike Elite Youth manager, and an unnamed assistant coach at Kentucky.
There is no proof that either Langford or Williamson received payment.
The motion does not imply any wrong doing on behalf of the assistant coach. Instead, the texts show that Debose appeared to be aware of payments made to high school players.
"Debose acknowledged in an exchange of text messages with an assistant coach at the University of Kentucky that Nike was funneling payments to high school players through at least ten different EYBL coaches," reads the motion.
Avenatti stands accused of trying to extort money from Nike to help cover up the scandal. His attorneys vehemently disagree.
"Contrary to Asst. Director Sweeney’s press statement, at no point did Mr. Avenatti promise to “cover up” Nike’s misconduct in exchange for payments," reads the motion.