The District Attorney’s Office Wednesday declined to file any felony charges against attorney Michael Avenatti stemming from his arrest on suspicion of domestic violence, but referred the case to the City Attorney’s Office for consideration of possible misdemeanor counts.
Avenatti, famed for representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Donald Trump over an affair she alleges she had with Trump a decade ago, has vehemently denied the domestic-violence allegations. He quickly issued a statement hailing prosecutors decision not to pursue a felony case.
“I am thankful that the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has rejected filing any charges against me after a fair, careful and thorough investigation,” he said. “I have maintained my innocence since the moment of my arrest. I wish to thank my supporters, friends, family, attorneys and clients for the outpouring of support they provided. This Thanksgiving, I am especially grateful for justice.”
Representatives for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office could not be immediately reached for comment.
Avenatti, 47, was arrested Nov. 14 in Century City. He was booked on suspicion of felony domestic violence and released on $50,000 bail. After his release, he spoke to reporters and denied ever engaging in domestic violence and insisting he has never struck a woman.
On Monday, an actress named Mareli Miniutti obtained a temporary restraining order against Avenatti. Miniutti, 24, claimed in court papers that she and Avenatti began living together in January and said they got into an argument over money last week, during which he allegedly called her an “ungrateful, (expletive) bitch.”
She claims in court papers that Avenatti “forcefully” hit her in the face with pillows” and dragged her along the floor and into a hallway, causing scratches on her side and leg. According to her court papers, she managed to get out of the apartment and a friend eventually picked her up, after which she called police.
Avenatti’s attorneys, Evan Jenness and Richard Beada, gave a statement to CNN saying the couple had an argument, during which Miniutti “behaved in a volatile, agitated and irrational manner.”
“However, Mr. Avenatti did not inflict any corporal injury or cause any traumatic condition upon Ms. Miniutti,” they said.
Another hearing on the restraining order is set for Dec. 10.
Avenatti is best known for representing Daniels, who is suing Trump seeking to invalidate a non-disclosure agreement she signed before the 2016 presidential election over an affair she alleges she had with him in 2006. Trump has denied the affair.
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