What would do if a friend started fulminating about sex parties on Twitter? What if he started saying he knew things that the rest of the world didn’t know — that soon he would break his silence, and the power of his revelations would shake the political establishment to its core? What if he seemed to relishing the sordid details, ranting about orgy ‘trains’ and obscene FFFFF acronyms? What if, based on a briefly successful TV career, he started talking about becoming president?

You’d want to help. You’d want to tell him that he needs to talk to someone, possibly a therapist or a priest.

Michael Avenatti is not Cockburn’s friend. But Cockburn is concerned about him. He’s gone from being porn-star lawyer to an international celebrity, and the rapid ascent has gone to his head. His ego is spinning out of control and he seems positively sex mad.

Nobody could have seen his performance on Tucker Carlson two weeks ago and not been alarmed. He seemed unable to concentrate on what was being said, so keen was he to be righteous. He asked Carlson if he watched porn, apropos of nothing in particular. Now he has turned his Twitter attentions to the Brett Kavanaugh battle, and it doesn’t make pretty reading.

Has Avenatti developed Tourette’s? It’s possible of course that he does indeed have a client who can reveal all sorts of truly hideous shenanigans from Kavanaugh’s past. We should never discount that.

However, it’s also possible that, having worked with the porn business, he is now inclined to see gangbangery everywhere. Perhaps his mind — even when he tries to make it stop — imagines a rape session behind every closed door.

Catholics used to call this ‘demonic possession.’ Psychiatrists call it ‘hypersexual’ disorder — a preoccupation with wild sexual fantasies. Combine that with the delusions of grandeur, the almost messianic belief that he, Michael Avenatti, can rid the world of Trumpism and injustice, and you have could reason to think that Mr Avenatti might just be a little unhinged.

Cynics say Avenatti is a grifter, riding the ‘Basta’ wave to make himself rich and famous. But Cockburn is not cynical. Cockburn is worried. Michael needs a friend right now. Stormy, can you help?

Update 9/25 11:50 a.m, ET: Michael Avenatti has locked his Twitter account. He told Cockburn this was due to ‘trolls, bots and security issues.’