(Reuters) – Michael Cohen, the convicted former personal lawyer to U.S. President Donald Trump, says he is making new friends in prison and enjoying time away from the spotlight, according to a person familiar with Cohen’s first few weeks there.
“He’s loving it there,” the person told Reuters. “Peace, quiet. He wants to stay there. He’s in the gym every day. He’s loving life.”
Cohen, 52, is housed in a minimum security camp for white collar criminals at Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, New York, about 70 miles (110 km) northwest of New York City.
The camp is known for its substantial population of Jewish inmates such as Cohen because of its proximity to Jewish enclaves in New York City and elsewhere in the state, employing a full-time rabbi and offering kosher meals.
The camp, which is not fenced in, also offers weights and other exercise equipment, a basketball court, a tennis area and a baseball field, and bocce ball.
The person familiar with Cohen’s time in Otisville said that Cohen was relieved to be free of public attention and of the anxiety he felt before reporting to prison on May 6.
Lanny Davis, a spokesman for Cohen, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Cohen, who is married with two children, once said he would “take a bullet” for Trump but then turned against him in court and in testimony to the U.S. Congress as investigations mounted into the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.
The former lawyer was sentenced in December to three years in prison for financial crimes and for orchestrating payments to pornographic film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal shortly before the election. Cohen said Trump directed the “hush money” payments for the women’s silence about their sexual relations with Trump.
Trump, who has denied the affairs, said he never directed Cohen to do anything illegal.
Cohen works on the prison’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and he cut his hand on the job but did not need medical care, according to the person who spoke to Reuters.
Cohen “hates the food,” the source said. “This is a guy who ate in all the best restaurants.”
(Reporting by Aram Roston in Washington and Brendan Pierson in New York; editing by Noeleen Walder and Grant McCool)