Michael Avenatti was released from police custody on Wednesday after being arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, and the media-friendly attorney said that his arrest is an attempt to intimidate him into silence.
As NBC Los Angeles reported, Avenatti was released on $50,000 bail after a police report claimed he struck an unnamed and unidentified woman. Police booked him on felony domestic violence charges.
After his release, Avenatti released a public statement saying there was no truth to the charges.
“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. 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,” he said in a statement released by his Newport Beach law firm.
Avenatti expanded his claim on Twitter later that evening, saying he believes the accusation is an attempt to intimidate him into stopping his work.
Thank you to everyone who has reached out with supportive messages and offers of assistance. It means the world to me. I have always been an advocate of women's rights and equality & I always will be. I will not be intimidated into stopping my pursuit of justice and what is right
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) November 15, 2018
Avenatti has long been known as a lawyer representing high-profile celebrities, but shot to fame this year as the representative for adult film star Stormy Daniels, who claimed that she had an affair with Donald Trump and was paid off to keep quiet about it. Avenatti has become one of Trump’s chief attackers and even floated the idea of running for president in 2020.
Avenatti has waded into other battles with Donald Trump beyond his work with Stormy Daniels, including offering free representation to immigrant families whose children were taken from them at the U.S. border under Trump’s family separation policy.
— The Hill (@thehill) November 15, 2018
On Wednesday, Avenatti took to Twitter to declare his innocence, even posting statements from his first and second wives both saying he had never been violent and had known him only as a kind and loving husband and father to his two daughters.
Some initial reporting had claimed that Lisa Storie-Avenatti, Michael’s estranged wife who filed for divorce late last year, was the woman he allegedly struck. She quickly issued a statement correcting the reporting, saying she had not been with Michael and he was never violent with her.
Police did not release details about the alleged incident that led to Avenatti’s arrest, including when and where it was said to have taken place.
Michael Avenatti is scheduled to appear in court on December 5 to face charges of domestic violence.