Michael Avenatti: I had a healthy dose of skepticism taking Stormy Daniels' case

(CNN)Stormy Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, admitted he wasn't initially fully sold on taking on the adult film star's case.

"I had a healthy dose, David, of skepticism relating to Stormy Daniels when I first heard about this," Avenatti told David Axelrod on "The Axe Files," a podcast from the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and CNN.
"I knew that she was an adult film star and I haven't represented any adult film stars. That's just not what I do," explained Avenatti. "I mean, I've had a real legal career with real cases of significant magnitude and I've got a reputation that I've built over the years. And I was skeptical about lending that reputation to somebody in the industry, quite honestly."
Avenatti said those reservations disappeared when he met Daniels in person.
    "I met her and she blew every conception that I had, misconception that I had, out of the water," he told Axelrod. "This is an incredibly intelligent woman. One of the most self-aware people I've ever met in my life."
    Daniels has filed suit against President Donald Trump and his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, related to a $130,000 nondisclosure agreement the adult actress signed days before the 2016 election to keep silent about an alleged affair she had with the President. A federal judge issued a 90-day stay on her suit against Cohen on Friday.
    Avenatti maintained that his client is not seeking money or fame from her lawsuit, but rather the ability to "speak freely."
    "I think she's been pretty clear that, you know, one of the things that she's been concerned about is that the entire truth be laid bare for people to hear," he said. Avenatti also suggested that the public interest should focus beyond the salacious details of Daniels' alleged affair.
    "It's not about the sex," he told Axelrod. "It's about lying to the American people and covering it up."