Celebrity lawyer turned criminal defendant Michael Avenatti was sentenced Thursday to 2 ½ years in prison for attempting to extort more than $20 million from Nike.

Avenatti, 50, was convicted on all three counts of extortion, transmission of interstate communications with intent to extort, and wire fraud by a New York federal court in February 2020.

“Mr. Avenatti had become drunk on the power of his platform,” Judge Paul Gardephe said in a Manhattan federal courtroom.

Avenatti, who gained national attention as the attorney for porn actress Stormy Daniels, threatened to expose what he described as corruption at Nike regarding high school basketball players. The defense argued he was just employing tough negotiating tactics.

The evidence presented at trial showcased otherwise. Avenatti explicitly told Nike lawyers he would hold a news conference claiming the company illegally paid players unless they paid him to conduct an international investigation.

In the courtroom on Thursday, Avenatti wept and choked up on his words while giving his remarks, CNN reported.

"I betrayed my own values, my friends, my family and myself," he said. "I, and I alone, have destroyed my career, my relationships, my life."

The sentence he received was lower than the 108 to 135 months in prison recommended by the sentencing guidelines. It was still higher than the six months his defense team requested.

Avenatti still faces trials on two additional criminal indictments --- one in New York over allegations he defrauded his former client Daniels and another in California for allegedly defrauding other clients of his law firm.