Jurors knew all about El Chapo lawyer’s X-rated affair during trial

Jurors in the trial of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman read articles about the X-rated affair between the drug lord’s defense attorney and another one of his other famous clients — “Vegan Bernie Madoff” Sarma Melngailis, one of the panelists revealed in a new interview.

Ironically, the group wasn’t aware of The Post’s Jan. 12 exposé on the steamy relationship between married lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman and Melngailis, the restaurateur who was arrested for stealing nearly $2 million from her vegan eatery — until the judge questioned them about whether they’d seen any recent media coverage, the unnamed juror told Vice.

They answered honestly that they hadn’t seen anything — but as soon as the judge left, someone used a smartwatch to find the article and at least seven panel members learned of the scandal, the juror claimed.

As the Guzman trial was unfolding in January, The Post revealed a trove of dirty text messages between Melngailis and Lichtman, 53, spanning from February 2017 to May 2018.

“I loved being in you,” Lichtman told the 46-year-old owner of the now-shuttered Pure Food and Wine in Gramercy Park. “You felt perfect. Like it fit perfectly. Do you want that again.”

He also admitted to being turned on in court as she copped to charges of criminal tax fraud, grand larceny and scheme to defraud in exchange for a fourth-month stint on Rikers Island.

“It was crazy. During the plea I was kind of swooning for you. Just wanted to touch you a little even,” the attorney wrote Melngailis.

After questioning the jurors in Guzman’s case on Jan. 14, Judge Brian Cogan told the court: “The attorneys wanted me to inquire of the jury on the record privately to see if any of them had been exposed or if anyone had seen or heard of the article in question.”

“It is clear to me that they did not have any idea what I was talking about,” Cogan said. “For me, that closes the matter.”

But the juror told Vice that the panel already found Lichtman, a veteran defense attorney who repped John Gotti Jr., off-putting during the trial.

“They thought he was mean and he was nasty because of the way he would talk to the witnesses, and you know, I always told them he’s doing his job. That’s his job,” the juror said.

Reached by phone, Lichtman said, “No, I can’t talk to you guys, thanks” before hanging up.