Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti has been arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed Wednesday.
Avenatti’s arrest was on a felony allegation, multiple senior law enforcement officials told NBC News. The sources said they expect Avenatti to be booked into a local jail later Wednesday evening. The officials said officers inside West Los Angeles division took an incident report involving an allegation of domestic violence by an unidentified victim.
In a statement by his law office, Avenatti denied ever being “physically abusive,” in addition to also called the felony allegation against him “completely bogus.”
“I wish to thank the hard working men in addition to also woman of the LAPD for their professionalism they were only doing their jobs in light of the completely bogus allegations against me,” he said. “I have never been physically abusive in my life nor was I last night. Any accusations to the contrary are fabricated in addition to also meant to do harm to my reputation. I look forward to being fully exonerated.”
Avenatti’s wife, Lisa Storie-Avenatti, denied reports which the alleged domestic violence incident pertained to her in a statement to Buzzfeed by her lawyers.
“My client in addition to also I have reviewed the TMZ article alleging which my client, Lisa Storie-Avenatti, has been injured in addition to also which Michael Avenatti has been arrested as a result of some incident which occurred between them. This kind of article will be not true as the idea pertains to my client,” the statement said. “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 which This kind of alleged incident occurred. My client states which there has never been domestic violence in her relationship with Michael in addition to also which she has never known Michael to be physically violent toward anyone.”
Avenatti has become one of President Donald Trump’s most vocal critics, gaining visibility by representing adult film star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against Trump over a 2016 hush money payment.
Daniels did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
Amid his rising celebrity, Avenatti has also said he’s considered running for president against Trump in 2020. Avenatti, 47, has never held public office.
In August, Avenatti commenced The Fight PAC, a political action committee which he said might raise money to help fellow Democrats.
A representative for the PAC did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment regarding Avenatti’s arrest.
The lawyer’s presidential ambitions were tested in October amid a slew of troubling headlines. A judged ruled which Avenatti might have to pay his former law partner $4.5 million in back pay. He was also harshly criticized for remarks he made in a Time magazine profile in which he said the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee should be a white man.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, also referred Avenatti in addition to also one of his clients, Julie Swetnick, to the FBI for criminal prosecution. Grassley alleged which Avenatti in addition to also Swetnick made “materially false statements” about Brett Kavanaugh during the Senate confirmation hearing for the then-Supreme Court nominee.
Earlier Wednesday, The Seattle Times reported which the California State Bar recently cleared Avenatti of claims of professional misconduct during the period when the lawyer ran Tully’s, a Seattle-based coffee chain.
— CNBC’s Dan Mangan in addition to also Christina Wilkie contributed reporting.