The Latest: Avenatti calls allegations against him ‘absurd’

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              Attorney Michael Avenatti leaves Federal Court after his initial appearance in an extortion case Monday, March 25, 2019, in New York. Avenatti was arrested Monday on charges that included trying to shake down Nike for as much as $25 million by threatening the company with bad publicity. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen).
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NEW YORK (AP) — The latest on the case involving attorney Michael Avenatti (all times local):

5:55 p.m.

The embattled lawyer Michael Avenatti has a knack for injecting himself into the news.

Wednesday his name popped up in connection with the federal prosecution of members of a secretive society in upstate New York that’s been accused of sex trafficking.

At a court hearing in Brooklyn, attorney Mark Geragos confirmed under questioning by a judge that he and Avenatti had met with prosecutors on behalf of a defendant in the case, liquor fortune heiress Clare Bronfman.

Prosecutors charged Avenatti Monday with embezzling from a client and trying to extort millions of dollars from Nike.

Geragos wouldn’t comment on reports identifying him as an unnamed co-conspirator in the extortion case.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Bronfman collapsed after being questioned by the judge and was evaluated by medics.

Avenatti wasn’t present.