LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Attorney Michael Avenatti, who represents adult film star Stormy Daniels in her legal battles with U.S. President Donald Trump, was arrested in Los Angeles on Wednesday on suspicion of domestic violence, a police spokesman said.
Michael Avenatti, attorney for adult film actress Stormy Daniels, leaves Los Angeles Police Department Pacific Division after being arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, in Culver City, California, November 14, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Jeff Lee said no further details were immediately available, but he said Avenatti was released on bail after he was formally booked in the case.
“It will be presented to the district attorney’s office just like any other case,” Lee said. “They’ll take a look at it and see if there’s enough evidence to proceed.”
The celebrity news website TMZ, which broke the news of Avenatti’s arrest, reported that it stemmed from a physical confrontation between him and a woman at an apartment building Tuesday night in the Century City district of Los Angeles.
Avenatti, who has indicated that he might run for president in 2020 as a Democrat, denied wrongdoing in a statement issued through his law firm and in a statement to reporters outside the LAPD West Los Angeles police station following his release.
“I have never struck a woman. I never will strike a woman. I’ve been an advocate for women’s rights my entire career,” he said, adding that he would never “disrespect” his two daughters “by touching a woman inappropriately or striking a woman.”
“I look forward to a full investigation at which point I am confident I will be fully exonerated,” he added, without taking any questions.
In the statement from his law office, he said, “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.”
Avenatti came to national prominence as the lawyer for Daniels, a porn actress whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, who sued Trump for defamation after he denied her assertion that she had a sexual encounter with him in 2006.
That lawsuit was dismissed by a federal judge last month. Daniels has filed a separate lawsuit over a $130,000 hush-money agreement stemming from the alleged encounter.
Avenatti’s clients have included Julie Swetnick, who accused Brett Kavanaugh of aggressive sexual behavior before his confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles