Tue 26 Mar, 2019 08:05 am
Michael Avenatti is charged with extortion by threatening to release damaging information on Nike, Inc. unless the company paid him money in a proposed confidential settlement.
I don't know if it is alleged that Avenatti did this on behalf of a client.
In any event, I have read of numerous confidential settlements where the wrongdoer pays the whistle-blower in return for silence.o
What makes one illegal and the other legal?
Not sure of the cases you have read, but if say a politician sexually harasses someone and they settle out of court with a confidentiality agreement, that is not blackmail, that is an agreement to pay damages to an injured party. I am not sure what Avenatti is charged with, but I doubt he was representing a party that Nike wronged.
The difference is if the party with the information says "pay me or else" it is extortion. If the other party says we will pay you to keep quite it is legal in most cases.
If I follow that means it depends who contacts the other party and offers a terms of settlement.