April trial scheduled for Avenatti over Stormy Daniels book

FILE - In this Dec. 17, 2019, file photo, attorney Michael Avenatti arrives at federal court in New York. A judge has set an April 2021 date for Avenatti to face trial on charges that he cheated ex-client Stormy Daniels out of proceeds from her book, "Full Disclosure." Avenatti, who wrote the forward for the book, has pleaded not guilty. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
FILE - In this Dec. 17, 2019, file photo, attorney Michael Avenatti arrives at federal court in New York. A judge has set an April 2021 date for Avenatti to face trial on charges that he cheated ex-client Stormy Daniels out of proceeds from her book, "Full Disclosure." Avenatti, who wrote the forward for the book, has pleaded not guilty. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — An April trial date was set Tuesday for Michael Avenatti to face charges that he cheated ex-client Stormy Daniels out of proceeds from her book.

U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman in Manhattan set the April 21 trial date during a video conference for the once high-flying California lawyer who regularly criticized President Donald Trump while representing the stripper and porn star.

Avenatti's attacks on Trump were made after he sued the president over a payoff Daniels received to remain silent about her claims of a tryst with Trump before he became president. Trump has denied an affair occurred. The president was ordered to pay Daniels $44,100 in legal fees.

Prosecutors say Avenatti, 49, cheated Daniels out of $300,000 in proceeds from her 2018 book, “Full Disclosure.” Avenatti, who wrote the forward for the book, has pleaded not guilty.

The trial, projected to last two weeks, is now set to start more than a year after it was originally scheduled.

The coronavirus pandemic forced the long delay. Avenatti was released on bail in April, after saying a recent bout with pneumonia left him vulnerable to the coronavirus behind bars. He returned to Los Angeles.

In February, he was convicted of trying to extort $25 million from Nike. He is scheduled to be sentenced in that case next month.

He also faces fraud charges in California, and two additional trials next year are scheduled.

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This story has been corrected to show that the case against President Donald Trump was not thrown out. He was ordered to pay Stormy Daniels $44,100 in legal fees.