Michael Avenatti filed for divorce from his wife Lisa Storie Avenatti in December of 2017. The couple had been married since May of 2011.
Wednesday, Avenatti was arrested on suspicion of felony domestic violence in Los Angeles.
Few other details were immediately available including who might be the alleged victim.
But it wasn’t Lisa Storie Avenatti. She says he would never hit anyone.
She says not only was she not injured and not at his apartment, she has never known him to be physically violent. She and her attorney called a TMZ story alleging she was attacked by her former husband untrue. TMZ has since changed the story to say a “woman” is the alleged victim.
And she went further: “I haven’t see Michael in months. It’s a complete fabrication. Bruises on my face? It is insanity. He wouldn’t hit anybody. Especially a woman. He’s got two daughters.”
Avenatti’s first wife also said her former husband is non-violent.
Christine Avenatti-Carlin said “he has has never been abusive to me or anyone else. He is a very good man.”
“Please wait for facts. Plain and simple he does not hit women,” she wrote.
And Avenatti called the allegations “bogus” as he praised the LAPD for doing its job.
“I have never been physically abusive in my life …” his law firm said in a statement to Buzzfeed News.
Avenatti is a high-profile lawyer, possible presidential candidate, a self-described feminist – with two teen-aged daughters – and an outspoken critic of Pres. Trump. Avenatti represents Stormy Daniels and Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh accuser Julie Swetnick.
Avenatti has been estimated to be worth about $20 million. He’s won more than $1 billion in judgments for clients in high-profile and well-publicized cases throughout his career.
In March of 2018, Heavy obtained Avenatti’s divorce court documents. The court papers offer a peek into the high-end lifestyle he and his former wife Lisa, 49, enjoyed.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Michael Avenatti Filed For Divorce After Lisa Storie Avenatti Asked Him to Leave Their Home
According to Orange County, California court documents, Avenatti filed for divorce from his wife, Lisa-Storie Avenatti, in December 2017, after she asked him to leave their house and changed the locks, he said in the court documents. He said he left in an effort to avoid confrontation and filed for divorce when she did not allow him to return.
2. The Couple Have a 4-Year-Old Son. Avenatti Had Requested Joint Custody. He Said She’s Unreasonable. She Said he Wants Things His Way. Now, According to Storie, They’re Good
The superior court documents from December of 2017 show that the couple have a now 4-year-old son. Avenatti asked a judge for joint custody. He said his ex-wife had placed “unreasonable restrictions on the time” she allowed him to spend with the boy. He alleged in court documents that she would only permit him to see his son if he brought along one of the child’s nannies. Avenatti said that was unreasonable but went along with it. He argued that he raised two daughters without any help from nannies. He charged that his former wife, however, kept nannies working from 6 a.m. until nighttime to help her with her boy.
Lisa Storie-Avenatti, in her response described her former husband as having a temper and wanting things to be done his way. But that was then. In a divorce. In remarks today, she characterizes him as having never been physically aggressive reminding people that he has two daughters.
3. Lisa Storie Owns a Luxury Clothing Business & Has Worked in the Retail Garment & eCommerce Industry for Years
Lisa Storie Avenatti is a self-made businesswoman and entrepreneur with her own long career in online commerce.
She has a luxury clothing business, Ikaria Resort Wear. In court records from last December, it was reported to have been losing money. The Twitter account for the business, with 90 followers, describes the line as “Elegant Sexy Resort Wear. Ikaria cover-ups are created with 100 percent imported silk, made with crystals from Swarovski and finished by hand.”
She earned an MBA from the University of California, Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business, according to her LinkedIn.
She was the director of digital strategy for Demandware, a cloud commerce company, the ecommerce director GSI Commerce where she managed and grew eCommerce businesses for multi-channel retailers, according to her resume.
Storie was early to the ecommerce industry. She had a job as director of business for Shopping.com in 1997.
4. The Avenatti’s, When a Couple, Lived a Charmed Lifestyle
In the divorce papers, it’s noted that Avenatti’s monthly expenses ran about $40,000 and his wife’s about $25,000. His included payments on a Ferrari Spyder and a Mercedes G Wagon, a private plane and pilot, and car racing, the latter two costs are not listed.
For Lisa Storie Avenatti, her monthly expenses included tens of thousands of dollars for restaurants, shopping, entertainment, gifts, housekeepers, laundry and $12,000 for nannies for the couple’s young son. Their housing costs were then around $114,000 a month for a house in Newport Beach and a Los Angeles apartment.
5. Michael Avenatti Was Worth $20 Million Back in March, But Has Since Had a $5 Million Lien to Tend With. He’s Won $1 Billion in Judgments in Big Cases
According to IRS documents provided to Heavy from last spring, Avenatti and his one-time coffee company were facing more than $5 million in tax liens. The kind of tax the government alleges Global Baristas and Avenatti failed to pay are withholding taxes. He has disputed this.
Perhaps the biggest win for Avenatti was the $454 million 2017 fraud verdict against against Kimberly-Clark’s company Halyard Health. The very high-profile case was brought against the manufacturer of shoddy and faulty protective garments and gear worn by healthcare workers during the Ebola crisis. The case got national attention following an Anderson Cooper story for CBS’ “60 Minutes.”
Avenatti worked with Daniel Petrocelli, who previously represented the Goldman family in its case against O.J. Simpson, on multiple legal matters, including the representation of singer Christina Aguilera and litigation surrounding the movie “K-19: The Widowmaker.” He worked defending the Eagles’ Don Henley and Glen Frey in a well-publicized suit brought by former bandmate Don Felder. Avenatti won a $10 million defamation case against Paris Hilton and a large corporate multi-national embezzlement case involving in excess of $42,000,000, according to his website.