Michael Avenatti, the outspoken attorney for porn actress Stormy Daniels, who claims she had an affair with now-President Donald Trump a decade ago, was arrested Wednesday afternoon on suspicion of domestic violence.
The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed the arrest, first reported by TMZ, in a Twitter post.
“We can confirm that today LAPD detectives arrested Michael Avenatti on suspicion of domestic violence. This is an ongoing investigation and we will provide more details as they become available,” according to the department.
Avenatti was booked at the LAPD’s Pacific Station on suspicion of felony domestic violence and his bail was set at $50,000. The 47-year-old Avenatti was released from custody at 5:30 p.m., and was met by reporters outside the police station.
Avenatti thanked the LAPD for their “professionalism.”
“They had no option in light of the allegations,” he said. “Secondly, I have never struck a woman. I never will strike a woman. I have been an advocate for women’s rights my entire career, and I’m going to continue to be an advocate. I am not going to be intimidated from stopping what I am doing. I am a father to two beautiful, smart daughters. I would never disrespect them by touching a woman inappropriately or striking a woman. I am looking forward to a full investigation at which point I am confident that I will be fully exonerated.”
TMZ initially reported that Avenatti was involved in an alleged domestic violence incident with his estranged wife on Tuesday and was arrested Wednesday in Century City following an apparent second confrontation. But the website later reported that the alleged victim was not Avenatti’s estranged wife, who issued a statement through her attorney to NBC News denying any confrontation with Avenatti and saying “there has never been domestic violence in her relationship with Michael and that she has never known Michael to be physically violent toward anyone.”
According to TMZ, the alleged victim was spotted outside a Century City apartment building Wednesday, screaming at someone on her cell phone. Avenatti showed up about five minutes later, chasing the woman and screaming expletives, yelling, “She hit me first,” TMZ reported. Sources told the website the woman’s face was “swollen and bruised.”
Avenatti, believed to be an aspiring politician, has risen to fame for his representation of Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. She contends she had an affair with Trump in 2006, and she is now suing Trump in federal court in Los Angeles, seeking to negate a non-disclosure agreement she signed just before the 2016 presidential election.
Trump has denied the affair.
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