The owner of Seattle’s shrinking Tully’s Coffee chain made the rounds of national TV shows Wednesday to discuss his porn-star client Stormy Daniels and her lawsuit to invalidate a $130,000 “hush agreement” about her alleged sexual relationship with President Donald Trump.
Yes, you read that right.
Michael J. Avenatti, who lambasted Trump and his aides Wednesday for trying to keep Daniels quiet, is the same pugnacious lawyer who in 2013 bought the Tully’s Coffee shops in bankruptcy court and has landed in disputes with Boeing, various local landlords, and the powerful Keurig Green Mountain coffee conglomerate that actually owns the Tully’s name.
Avenatti, based in Los Angeles, made his name in class-action lawsuits and litigation against professional firms. Locally, he was engaged to sue the Moss Adams accounting firm over several audits of funds raised by infamous Ponzi scheme perpetrator Frederick Darren Berg, whose Meridian Mortgage cost investors more than $100 million.
But his coffee-shop sideline, Global Baristas, has not gone well. In January, Keurig Green Mountain, which years earlier bought the U.S. rights to the Tully’s brand, sued Global Baristas, claiming it has not paid licensing fees and revoking its permission to use the name Tully’s.
Avenatti fired back, claiming Keurig hadn’t held up its side of the contract.
Avenatti previously also found himself on the outs with actor Patrick Dempsey, originally a partner in Global Baristas, who later sued and left the enterprise, saying Avenatti hadn’t funded the deal as promised.
When they bought the Tully’s chain for $9.5 million, it had 40 sites. After several eviction lawsuits and a breakup with Boeing, where it had a dozen work-site locations, Tully’s now runs about 15 stores.
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