Michael Avenatti arrested on domestic violence charge and released
Outspoken lawyer taken into custody in L.A. and then released Wednesday evening
Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for porn actress Stormy Daniels who skyrocketed to fame as a chief critic of U.S. President Donald Trump, has been released from police custody following his arrest on a felony domestic violence charge in Los Angeles.
As he walked out of the police station Wednesday evening after posting $50,000 US bail, Avenatti told reporters he "has never struck a woman."
He said he has been an advocate for women's rights and would never disrespect his children by "touching a woman inappropriately."
Avenatti said he's confident he will be fully exonerated after police complete a thorough investigation.
Los Angeles police said Avenatti was arrested Wednesday afternoon.
Officer Tony Im, a police spokesman, said the victim had visible injuries. He declined to provide details about the victim's relationship to Avenatti.
I want to be clear: I DID NOT commit domestic violence nor have I ever committed domestic violence. I did not strike any woman nor have I ever. I did not strike my ex-wife in the face nor did I hit anyone else in the face. I am a decent man & I look forward to being exonerated.—@MichaelAvenatti
"I wish to thank the hard working men and woman of the LAPD for their professionalism, they were only doing their jobs in light of the completely bogus allegations against me," Avenatti said in a statement released through his law firm.
"I have never been physically abusive in my life nor was I last night. Any accusations to the contrary are fabricated and meant to do harm to my reputation. I look forward to being fully exonerated."
Avenatti became famous as Daniels' lawyer and pursued the president and those close to him relentlessly for months, taunting Trump in interviews and baiting him and his lawyers in tweets.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has said she had an affair with Trump in 2006 and has sued to invalidate the confidentiality agreement she signed days before the 2016 presidential election that prevents her discussing it. She also sued Trump and his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, alleging defamation.
The Vermont Democratic Party cancelled events planned for Friday and Saturday, where Avenatti was scheduled to speak, and is refunding ticket sales.
Avenatti's clients have also included Julie Swetnick, who accused Brett Kavanaugh of aggressive sexual behavior before his confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court.
"I'm going to continue to be an advocate," Avenatti told CNN in a phone interview on Wednesday evening. "I am not going to be intimidated from stopping what I am doing."