Police in Los Angeles have confirmed to Heavy that Michael Avenatti was arrested in the early morning hours of Wednesday. An LAPD spokesman said that the lawyer best known for representing Stormy Daniels was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. Police said the report was filed just before midnight on Tuesday and Avenatti was arrested shortly afterward, in West Los Angeles. Avenatti was charged with felony domestic violence; his bail was set at $50,000.
TMZ first reported the arrest. TMZ initially reported that Avenatti’s estranged wife, Lisa Storie-Avenatti, had filed a police report after an incident that took place on Tuesday. TMZ also reported that Lisa-Storie’s face was swollen and bruised when she was seen in public following the alleged incident with Avenatti.
But TMZ later said that it had made a mistake in its reporting. The outlet said that in fact, Avenatti’s estranged wife was not the victim in the alleged incident. Storie-Avenatti has also come forward to deny that Avenatti ever abused her. It is not yet clear who filed the report against Avenatti.
The Avenattis have a complex relationship, which Heavy has covered in the past; you can find much more detail about the couple and their divorce proceedings here.
Avenatti filed for divorce in December 2017, after Lisa Storie-Avenatti kicked him out of their shared home and changed the locks on the door. The couple has a three year old child and, at last check, they were involved in a custody battle, with Avenatti demanding joint custody of the child.
On Wednesday, TMZ reported that a woman ran out of the apartment building in Century City and was on the sidewalk on her cellphone with sunglasses covering her eyes. TMZ said the woman was heard screaming on the phone, “I can’t believe you did this to me.” TMZ also said that Avenatti soon showed up and was heard to scream, “She hit me first.” He reportedly added, “This is bulls***, this is f***ing bulls***.”
Avenatti’s Estranged Wife Told Buzzfeed That Avenatti Never Hit Her
Hours after the TMZ story came out, Lisa Storie-Avenatti’s attorneys contacted Buzzfeed. They told the outlet in a statement that Storie-Avenatti was never hurt by Avenatti and that she did not file a complaint against him. Here, in part, is her statement:
“My client and I have reviewed the TMZ article alleging that my client, Lisa Storie-Avenatti, has been injured and that Michael Avenatti has been arrested as a result of some incident that occurred between them. This article is not true as it pertains to my client. Ms. Storie-Avenatti was not subject to any such incident on Tuesday night. Further, she was not at Mr. Avenatti’s apartment on the date that this alleged incident occurred. My client states that there has never been domestic violence in her relationship with Michael and that she has never known Michael to be physically violent toward anyone.”
Multiple news sites have said that police sources told them about Avenatti’s arrest. It is not clear how Storie-Avenatti’s statement to Buzzfeed might change this story.
The Vermont Democratic Party Quickly Cancelled Avenatti’s Appearance This Weekend
Michael Avenatti has often hinted that he wants to run for president. So it’s no surprise that he was scheduled to speak to the Burlington chapter of the Vermont Democratic Party this weekend. The Stormy Daniels lawyer was set to speak at two separate events, on Friday and on Saturday.
But after news of his arrest broke, the Vermont Democratic Party quickly canceled his appearance. “We have not heard from his people, but while there is some kind of arrest and investigation to ensue, we’re not going to step into that arena with him,” said R. Christopher Di Mezzo, the party’s communications director.