LOS ANGELES - Michael Avenatti, who skyrocketed to fame as a critic of President Donald Trump and the lawyer for porn actress Stormy Daniels, was arrested Wednesday and booked on a felony domestic violence charge, Los Angeles police said.
The victim in the case had visible injuries, according to Officer Tony Im, a police spokesman. But Avenatti slammed the allegation as “completely bogus” in a statement released by his law firm.
Avenatti, who has said he's mulling a 2020 presidential run, was being held on $50,000 bail, Im said. He was arrested about 2 p.m. on the same block where he lives in a skyscraper apartment.
Police declined to provide details about the victim, including the victim's relationship to Avenatti.
“I wish to thank the hardworking 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 from discussing it. She also sued Trump and his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, alleging defamation.
The Vermont Democratic Party canceled events planned for Friday and Saturday, where Avenatti was scheduled to speak, and is refunding ticket sales.