Celebrity attorney Mark Geragos blasted CNN for dropping him as a contributor on the network after he was implicated in Michael Avenatti’s alleged Nike extortion scheme.
The attorney, who has represented high-profile clients such as Michael Jackson, Colin Kaepernick and, most recently, “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, slammed CNN for its decision Tuesday to drop him as a legal contributor after two decades.
“They ought to change their name to the ‘Cut and Run Network,'” Geragos said on “The Adam Carolla Show” podcast on Tuesday.
“I’ve been texted by all of their anchors, who are as outraged as I am that after 20 years, a press conference is enough to have them immediately want to disassociate themselves,” he added, calling CNN out as the “Know-Nothing Network.”
Avenatti, the former attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels, was arrested Monday and charged with extortion in an alleged scheme to extort $20 million from Nike. The Wall Street Journal and The Associated Press reported Monday that Geragos conspired with Avenatti in the plot.
CNN legal analyst Mark Geragos is Avenatti co-conspirator. Network’s bad week just got much worse. https://t.co/FmbmTJQmHw
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 26, 2019
Avenatti and Geragos allegedly threatened to release information damaging to Nike if the company did not agree to pay them more than $20 million and pay an additional $1.5 million to a client Avenatti was supposedly representing. After Avenatti’s arrest, CNN dropped Geragos as a contributor, though the 61-year-old was not named in the complaint and has not been charged with a crime.
He found the move “astonishing” and told Carolla he was not aware of any reason they might have had to cut ties with him so abruptly.
“God forbid that I start telling some of the stories about how I’ve covered for that lame-ass organization,” he told Carolla, the former co-host of Comedy Central’s “The Man Show.”
He shared that “the direction that network has gone in is not something that I’m real comfortable with,”though he noted that CNN had recently renewed his contract “and wanted to make it multiple years.”
Geragos made headlines in recent days for the connection with Avenatti and his termination from CNN but also from another high-profile case.
He was cleared Thursday to defend Seagram’s heiress Clare Bronfman in a New York sex-trafficking case after she fainted in federal court in Brooklyn a day earlier when the judge asked if Avenatti was representing her. U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis approved Bronfman’s choice to hire Geragos but warned that the attorney’s “potential criminal exposure” could create a conflict, according to Fox News.
And with this week’s plot twist in the Smollett case, as Cook County prosecutors’ dismissed a 16-count indictment against the actor, Geragos revealed he was being called by CNN bookers and anchors to appear on the air and discuss his former client.
“My phone has been blowing up by their [CNN’s] bookers and their anchors all today trying to get me back on to talk about Jussie Smollett,” he said. “I think I responded to one, who will remain nameless, ‘CNN’s not exactly in my Top 10 list.'”
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