Celebrity attorney and would-be presidential candidate in 2020 Michael Avenatti will not be prosecuted by the Los Angeles district attorney, according to CNBC.
Avenatti was arrested last week for felony domestic violence, but the LA DA has decided not to prosecute these charges. Avenatti has denied the allegations of domestic violence, and released a statement on Wednesday signaling his gratitude to the DA’s office for not “filing any charges against me after a fair, careful and thorough investigation.”
“I have maintained my innocence since the moment of my arrest,” Avenatti said in his statement.
Actress Mareli Miniutti, 24, reported to police that Avenatti dragged her by the arm across a bedroom floor. She has subsequently taken out a restraining order against Avenatti.
Avenatti has said that the her statements are “completely false.”
“This Thanksgiving…I am especially grateful for justice,” he wrote on Twitter.
When questioned about the decision not to prosecute, a spokesperson for the LA district attorney declined to state why this case will not be pursued.
Michael Avenatti, 47, is best-known for being the lawyer representing Stormy Daniels. Avenatti has also positioned himself as an opponent to Donald Trump, and has stated that he is considering his own presidential run in 2020.
Avenatti stated on Twitter that he’s waiting for “apologies” from TMZ, according to Deadline. He says the tabloid news organization published a “demonstrably false article” last Wednesday, and says they misreported nine key facts.
He says he is also “waiting on apologies from all of the other news orgs” that used TMZ as a source.
The district attorney has referred the Avenatti domestic violence case to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office.
Avenatti could still face misdemeanor charges, the New York Daily News reports. With the case now in the hands of the city attorney, a new investigation will be conducted to determine whether or not to prosecute Avenatti on a lesser charge. He won’t be charged with felony domestic violence, but another criminal charge could still result.
Miniutti said that the lawyer also “acted in a physically violent manner toward” her in February of this year. She says that in February, Avenatti shoved her and “then threw my shoes at me, striking me in the leg,” according to the court papers.
As for the November altercation, Miniutti says that she and Avenatti argued over money. He hit her in the face with pillows, she alleges, before dragging her by the arm into the hallway outside of the residence they shared at the time.