Mareli Miniutti is the woman who is accusing Michael Avenatti of domestic abuse. Avenatti, best known as Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, has denied the charges. The Blast was the first to report that it was Miniutti who had filed a restraining order against Avenatti on November 19 in Los Angeles. The restraining order has been granted by a judge in the district. A hearing on the issue is set for December 10. On November 14, TMZ was the first to report that Avenatti had been arrested and accused of domestic violence. After initially reporting that the alleged victim was Avenatti’s estranged wife, the gossip site amended their report to reflect that the complainant was an unnamed woman. Shortly after his arrest, Avenatti was released on a $50,000 bail.
Avenatti has strenuously denied the allegations, saying in a statement, “I have never struck a woman. I never will strike a woman. I have been an advocate for women’s rights my entire career and I’m gonna continue to be an advocate. I am not going to be intimidated from stopping what I am doing.” A Los Angeles Police Department spokesman said that the victim had “visible injuries” and that the case had been referred to the district attorney’s office. Avenatti maintained that the allegations were “completely bogus.” Avenatti has said evidence, including video recordings, will clear his name and has asked for all video from his apartment building be turned over to investigators.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Miniutti is accusing Avenatti of dragging her across his apartment floor, leaving injuries and red marks on her body and calling her an “ungrateful f*cking bitch.” Miniutti also wrote in the documents that Avenatti hit her in the face forcefully with pillows before grabbing her by the wrist and trying to pull her out of bed. Miniutti says she had been living with Avenatti since January and on the night of the fight he told her she couldn’t stay there.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Miniutti Is a Native of Estonia
Miniutti is a native of Estonia in Eastern Europe. As news of her restraining order against Avenatti spread, Miniutti put her Instagram page on private mode. The bio on that page reads, “don’t confuse Instagram for real life.” ABC News’ Kaitlyn Folmer reports that Avenatti and Miniutti had been dating since October 2017. The broke up on the night Miniutti alleges Avenatti attacked her.
A cached version of her Instagram page shows her regularly traveling to Europe. Online records show that Miniutti has previously lived in New York City and now lives in the Los Angeles-area.
2. Miniutti Is an Actress Who Most Recently Appeared in Ocean’s 8
According to Miniutti’s IMDb page, she is an actress who most recently appeared in a cameo role in the smash hit movie Ocean’s 8. Miniutti is due to appear in two movies, Sargasso and Crypto, the latter stars Kurt Russell. Both are slated to be released in 2018. Miniutti has also appeared in 2016 Rebel Wilson comedy, How to Be Single.
3. Michael Avenatti Had Suggest on Twitter That Jacob Wohl Was Responsible for the Arrest
Michael Avenatti suggested that Jacob Wohl was behind a conspiracy that resulted in Avenatti’s November 15 arrest. Less than 24 hours after TMZ broke the story that Avenatti was LAPD custody over the incident, Avenatti tweeted, “First Mueller and now me. When we are fully exonerated I am coming for you Jacob Wohl aka Surefire.” The “Surefire” is a reference to Surefire Intelligence, an opposition research firm. In October 2018, Wohl denied having any connection to the agency in an interview with NBC News.
In October and November 2018, Jacob Wohl attracted national attention after he said that a woman had contacted him, claiming she had been raped by Robert Mueller in 2010. Despite promising to produce an accuser, Wohl never followed through, telling the media that the accuser had become scared for her life and would not go public.
4. Avenatti Has Vowed to Sue TMZ After They Alleged His Ex-Wife Was the Person Accusing Him of Domestic Abuse
TMZ originally reported that Avenatti’s accuser was his estranged wife, Lisa. Avenatti tweeted after his release, “Whomever wrote and approved that TMZ article better get their checkbook ready because it was purposely malicious and false. It was designed to harm Lisa, me and my family and we are going expose TMZ for what they did. No journalist should rely on or defend garbage like that.” Both of Avenatti’s former wives put out statements saying that he had never been physically abusive during their relationships. Avenatti and Lisa filed for divorce in 2017.
CNN’s MJ Lee further reported on Avenatti’s plans to sue TMZ with Lee quoting Avenatti as saying, “When this matter is concluded, we are most certainly going to sue TMZ. Those cockroaches should crawl back from where they came. The TMZ article is garbage.” Avenatti went on, “There’s was no woman on the sidewalk screaming at me. I never screamed at anyone in the lobby. There were no swollen bruises or red marks on anyone’s face. I never struck anyone on the face.”
5. Stormy Daniels Said She Would Fire Avenatti if the Domestic Abuse Allegations Turn Out to Be True
Porn star Stormy Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, told the Oxford Student Union on November 16, “If the allegations turn out to be true, then I will definitely be seeking new representation because I cannot condone or support someone who is abusive.” Daniels went on, “Right now they are just allegations, and I’m going to reserve judgment and I hope that everyone does, because, trust me, I know what it feels like to be on the other end of that. Until all the details are discovered. As a matter of fact, some of the stuff that was already on TMZ has turned out to be completely false.”