Anti-Trump attorney Michael Avenatti was arrested Wednesday on charges of felony domestic violence that reportedly left the woman with a “swollen and bruised” face.
The lawyer for porn star Stormy Daniels and one of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s less-credible accusers was taken into custody Wednesday, the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed.
“We can confirm that today LAPD Detectives arrested Michael Avenatti on suspicion of domestic violence. This is an ongoing investigation and we will provide more details as they become available,” the L.A.P.D. wrote on its official Twitter account.
According to celebrity-news site TMZ, which first reported the story citing “law enforcement sources,” the arrest occurred after a confrontation “at an exclusive apartment building in the Century City area of L.A.”
Mr. Avenatti kicked the woman out of the apartment Tuesday “and that’s when the alleged domestic violence occurred,” TMZ reported.
The woman then went back Wednesday to retrieve her belongings but had the police on stand-by in case anything went badly, TMZ reported.
“We’re told during today’s confrontation the woman ran out of the apartment building and was on the sidewalk on her cellphone with sunglasses covering her eyes, screaming on the phone, ‘I can’t believe you did this to me,’ ” TMZ wrote.
Mr. Avenatti physically showed up five minutes later and was running after the woman, yelling at her. TMZ reported that Mr. Avenatti was yelling “She hit me first” and “this is bull—-t, this is f—-ing bull—-t.”
He was reportedly taken into custody after a several-minute conversation with police in a corner of the apartment lobby.
In a statement Wednesday night, Mr. Avenatti emphatically denied the charges.
“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,” he said.
Mr. Avenatti was released from custody Wednesday night and repeated his denial at an impromptu press conference outside the jail, and emphasized his role as a women’s rights and #MeToo advocate.
“You know my character, you know me as a man,” Mr. Avenatti said, also saying that “I am not going to be intimidated” from his work.
TMZ had initially reported that the woman was Mr. Avenatti’s estranged wife Lisa-Storie Avenatti, from whom the lawyer had filed for divorce in 2017. At one point during the contentious divorce, his wife had accused him of mental cruelty.
But CNN reported Wednesday evening that the woman in the incident was not Mrs. Avenatti, her lawyer having told the network she hadn’t seen her husband for three months.
Mrs. Avenatti also expressed skepticism about the report, saying in a statement through her lawyer that her husband wasn’t that kind of man.
“My client states that there has never been domestic violence in their relationship,” CNN reporter M.J. Lee read from the statement on the air Wednesday night.
This is not Mr. Avenatti’s only legal problem.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, has sent two criminal referrals to the FBI for investigation. He accuses Mr. Avenatti of submitting false sworn statements to the committee.
• Rowan Scarborough contributed to this report.