A lawyer for embattled attorney Michael Avenatti told a Manhattan federal jury on Monday that his client was “clearly authorized” to accept money on behalf of Stormy Daniels, the adult-film star he is accused of defrauding while representing her in 2018.

In opening statements of what is expected to be a weeks-long criminal trial, Avenatti’s public defender, Robert Baum, characterized the case as a disagreement between a high-profile attorney and a “disgruntled former client” who was struggling to uphold her end of an $800,000 book deal.

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