Embattled attorney Michael Avenatti and a former girlfriend who obtained a stay-away order against him in 2018 resolved their dispute out of court.
Lawyers for Avenatti and Mareli Miniutti filed a notice of settlement on Feb. 28 with Santa Monica Superior Court Judge Susan Lopez-Giss, who dismissed the case Tuesday “without prejudice,” meaning Miniutti is not barred from bringing the case again. The settlement terms were not divulged in court papers.
The judge also dissolved the restraining order Miniutti obtained against Avenatti.
Miniutti brought her petition for a temporary restraining order in November 2018, stating in her court papers that she and Avenatti began living together in January 2018 in Century City and that they got into an argument a week before she went to court, during which he allegedly called her an “ungrateful, (expletive) bitch.”
She alleged 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. Miniutti claims in court papers that a friend eventually picked her up, and she called police.
Avenatti was arrested, booked on suspicion of felony domestic violence and released on $50,000 bail. After his release, he spoke to reporters and vehemently denied ever engaging in domestic violence and insisting he has never struck a woman.
“When the truth and the facts are fully disclosed, including the security camera footage, I will be vindicated and a lot of people and news organizations are going to owe me an apology as well as money,” Avenatti wrote on his Twitter page. “Completely bogus.”
Avenatti said he was authorizing the public release of footage from security cameras at the Century City building where the alleged confrontation with the woman occurred, saying, “I want the truth to be known — all of it.”
No domestic violence charges were filed against Avenatti.
Avenatti’s attorneys, Evan Jenness and Richard Beada, said in 2018 that the former 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.
A New York jury found Avenatti, who rose to fame representing porn star Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against President Donald Trump, guilty in February of trying to extort up to $25 million from Nike.
Avenatti is still facing charges in Santa Ana, where prosecutors have accused him of operating a scheme to evade his various creditors.
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