World

Michael Avenatti arrested on domestic violence charge and released

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.

Outspoken lawyer taken into custody in L.A. and then released Wednesday evening

Michael Avenatti speaks to the media outside the Los Angeles Police Department Pacific Division after posting bail for a felony domestic violence charge. (Michael Owen Baker/Associated Press)

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."

Michael Avenatti leaves the Los Angeles Police Department Pacific Division. (Michael Owen Baker/Associated Press)

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 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."

Political ambitions 

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.

Adult film actress Stormy Daniels, left, stands with Avenatti as she speaks outside federal court in New York in April. (Mary Altaffer/Associated Press)

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."