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Michael Avenatti tweets documents allegedly proving 2016 payment to Ayton's mother

Posted at 9:28 PM, Mar 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-28 01:44:11-04

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti is making good on his threat to release potentially damaging documents involving Nike's alleged payments to top high school players, including former Wildcat Deandre Ayton.

Wednesday evening, Avenatti tweeted images of text messages and emails he claims show payments to Ayton's mother.

Screen shots of emails from 2016 show alleged conversations between a Nike sports marketer, Carlton DeBose, and Gary Franklin, the coach who ran a youth team Ayton played on, California Supreme.

Avenatti claims the two men discussed how best to get money to Ayton's mother in Phoenix.

Included in Avenatti's alleged evidence is a heavily redacted document that he claims is a bank statement showing two $5,000 withdrawals by Franklin, who then allegedly delivered the Nike money to Ayton's family.

In a later tweet, Avenatti alleges Franklin messaged Ayton's mother to get her address and deliver the money.

It's unclear if Avenatti has provided federal authorities with this documentation.

He was arrested in New York on Monday for allegedly trying to extort $20 million dollars from Nike.

On Wednesday, Ayton responded to previous claims from Avenatti that Nike paid his mother in 2016.

"I'm not really addressing that right now. I do not know anything about that," Ayton said.

None of Avenatti's tweets claim the University of Arizona had anything to do with payments to Ayton.

He claims the payments from Nike came as Ayton was entering his final year in high school at Hillcrest Prep Academy.