Alexis Gardner, the former girlfriend of professional basketball player Hassan Whiteside of the Miami Heat, hired Michael Avenatti to handle a multi-million dollar settlement between the two when they broke up a few years ago.
Gardner and Whiteside reached a $3 million agreement. Avenatti was entitled to about $1 million of it. But according to court documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times, Avenatti allegedly embezzled $2.5 million of the settlement to buy a private jet and told Gardner that Whiteside was skipping payments.
Alexis Gardner goes by the last name Deviyan on social media, and that was how she was identified while she was dating Whiteside in 2016. According to her Facebook profile, she is single, therefore it is unclear if Gardner was a married name.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Report: Alexis Gardner Hired Michael Avenatti to Help Settle a Personal Dispute Between Her & Whiteside; The Former Couple Released a Joint Statement Saying The Payments Reflected Gardner’s Years of Support As Whiteside Pursued an NBA Career
Alexis Gardner and Hassan Whiteside dated while he was pursuing a professional sports career. He played basketball at Marshall University in West Virginia for one year before declaring for the NBA draft. Gardner also attended Marshall and that is most likely where the couple met.
The couple broke up and Gardner hired Michael Avenatii to represent her to settle some sort of dispute, the nature of which was not shared. They released a statement to the Los Angeles Times that read:
“We entered into a mutually agreed upon settlement more than two years ago following the end of our relationship; a settlement that reflected Alexis’ investment of time and support over a number of years as Hassan pursued a career in the NBA. It is unfortunate that something that was meant to be kept private between us is now being publicly reported. We have both moved on amicably and wish nothing but the best for each other.”
2. Report: Whiteside Agreed to Pay $3 Million in the Settlement But Gardner Never Received the Majority Of It; Avenatti is Accused of Embezzling the Money to Pay for a Private Jet
The settlement between Hassan Whiteside and Alexis Gardner was for $3 million. According to court documents cited by the Los Angeles Times, Whiteside sent Michael Avenatti $2.75 million in January of 2017.
The agreement had included that Avenatti would keep about $1 million for his legal fees. Instead, Avenatti is accused of keeping the money for himself. He allegedly used the funds to purchase a private jet from Honda Aircraft Company.
The LA Times reported that Avenatti told Gardner she would receive payments in monthly installments spread out over 96 months. Gardner reportedly received about $194,000 over 11 months. But prosecutors said Avenatti stopped the payments in June of 2018 and told Gardner that Whiteside had failed to pay. He was able to tell her this because Avenatti reportedly never showed Gardner the written settlement.
Avenatti has denied the allegations. He told the Los Angeles Times, “No monies were ever embezzled from anyone, and I look forward to all of the relevant documents and facts being presented at trial.”
3. Alexis Gardner Is Known as a Fitness Enthusiast & Posts Workout Photos to Social Media
Alexis Gardner, who goes by the name Alexis Deviyan on social media, appears to be into fitness. Her Facebook profile includes photos of her dribbling a basketball, practicing yoga and riding a horse.
In January of 2016, the website “Player Wives” described Alexis Deviyan as a “fitness lady who keeps her body looking like she could survive in a post-apocalyptic desert with nothing but a canteen.” The website reported that she worked for a fitness club in Charlotte, North Carolina at the time and had “some sort of distribution deal with a supplement company.”
4. Alexis Gardner Describes Herself as an Actor & Also Works at Starbucks, According to Her Facebook Page
Alexis Gardner lives in Los Angeles and appears to be pursuing an acting career. She describes herself on her Facebook page as “Actor in the Entertainment Industry” but it’s unclear how successful she has been in that pursuit.
On IMDB, Gardner has one credit but it doesn’t appear to be for an acting role. She was listed in the credits for a short film called “Slate” in 2018, grouped with several other people who received “very special thanks.” According to her Facebook page, Gardner also attended the International School of Screen Acting in London, but did not list the dates.
Gardner works as a barista at Starbucks, according to her Facebook page. She’s been serving up coffee since at least 2015. Player Wives wrote in the January 2016 profile, “Alexis also works as a barista, which is an ideal way to enjoy life, be social, and make extra money.” Her boyfriend at the time, Hassan Whiteside, was playing for the Miami Heat after signing with the team in late 2014.
5. Alexis Gardner is a Georgia Native, Graduated From Marshall University in 2013 & Now Lives in Los Angeles
Alexis Gardner is originally from Georgia. She wrote on her Facebook page that she was part of the Class of 2009 at Collins Hill High School in Suwanee, which is located about 30 miles northeast of Atlanta. But it’s unclear if that is where she graduated. Gardner also wrote that she attended Richard Montgomery High in Rockville, Maryland.
Gardner chose Marshall University in West Virginia for her college education. She likely met Hassan Whiteside while they were both students. He played for Marshall in the 2009-2019 season before declaring for the NBA draft. Gardner earned her degree in 2013.
Gardner moved to Miami shortly after Hassan Whiteside signed with the Miami Heat. Her Facebook page states she moved there in February of 2015, but then moved to South Dakota in August of that year. She now lives in Los Angeles.