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Disgraced California attorney Michael Avenatti has filed a claim against the Federal Bureau of Prisons for mistreatment, claiming he was only allowed to read from one source while being held under federal custody.
The $94 million claim, which was first obtained by CBS News, seeks $1 million for each day he says he was held in solitary confinement or lockdown and claims he was only allowed to read former President Trump‘s book, “The Art of the Deal.”
Celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
In the claim, Avenatti says he was mistreated while he was in federal custody because of his criticism of Trump and former Attorney General William Barr.
Under the Federal Tort Claims Act, Avenatti alleged that during his time in custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan in 2020, the federal government is liable for intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, false arrest and other acts.
The Metropolitan Correctional Center, which is operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, stands in Lower Manhattan on November 19, 2019 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Zachary Margulis-Ohnuma, a lawyer representing Avenatti, said the filing was sent to the Bureau of Prisons on Wednesday.
“We see this case as a gross misuse of the prison administrative system to punish someone for criticizing the president,” Margulis-Ohnuma said in a statement to Fox News.
“The claim contains evidence that the decision to keep Mr. Avenatti under atrocious conditions was made at the highest level of government,” the attorney added. “His treatment cannot be explained by any security concerns and represents a fundamental break from American values.”
CBS News reported: “The claim, known as a Standard Form 95, is the first step toward a potential lawsuit against the government. If a settlement cannot be reached or the agency denies the claim within six months, Avenatti could then file a lawsuit under the FTCA against the U.S. in federal court.”
In December, it was reported that Avenatti, once a star in media who is now a convicted felon, was given the book after he requested reading material while being held in a New York City detention facility in January 2020.
Adult film actress/director Stormy Daniels and attorney Michael Avenatti attend the 2019 Adult Video News Awards at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on January 26, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)
Avenatti, who represented porn actress Stormy Daniels in her litigation against former President Trump, was sentenced in July to 30 months in prison for trying to extort millions from Nike and has lived under house arrest in California.
Fox News reached out to the Federal Bureau of Prisons but did not receive an immediate response.
Fox News’ David Rutz and Edmund DeMarche contributed to this article.