While everyone waits for President Trump to tweet out his inevitably headline-winning reaction to the arrest of Michael Avenatti for suspected felony domestic violence on Wednesday, the celebrity lawyer’s most famous client has offered her official statement, which ends with an ominous comment about “seeking new representation” should the charges prove true.
“These are serious and obviously very troubling allegations, but right now that is all they are: allegations,” said Daniels in a statement reported by New York Magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi. “We should all reserve judgment until the investigation—an investigation Michael has said he welcomes—is complete, and that’s what I’m going to do. But of course I do not condone violence against women and if these allegations prove true I will be seeking new representation.”
Daniels’ statement follows another rather surreal statement by her attorney, who appeared in front of the cameras after exiting the L.A. County jailhouse Wednesday night to declare that he has “never struck a woman” and will not be “intimidated” from continuing to be “an advocate for women’s rights.”
“I’m going to make this very brief and very succinct,” said Avenatti after meeting the $50,000 bail set for the charges. “First of all, I want to thank the hardworking men and women of the LAPD for their professionalism and their work today. They had no option in light of the allegations. Secondly, 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 going to continue to be an advocate. I am not going to be intimidated from stopping what I am doing. I am a father to two beautiful, smart daughters. I would never disrespect them by touching a woman inappropriately or striking a woman. I am looking forward to a full investigation at which point I am confident that I will be fully exonerated. I also want to thank everyone for their support that has reached out. You know my character, you know me as a man, and I appreciate it.”
On Wednesday, TMZ reported that Avenatti had been arrested on suspected felony domestic violence charges, a report later confirmed by the LAPD. “We can confirm that Michael Avenatti (DOB: 02-16-71) was booked this afternoon on a felony domestic violence charge (273.5 PC),” LAPD tweeted Wednesday. “His bail is set at $50,000.”
According to TMZ’s law enforcement sources, Avenatti’s accuser’s face was “swollen and bruised,” with “red marks” on both of her cheeks.
“Our sources say the alleged incident occurred Tuesday night, but there was another confrontation Wednesday between the two at an exclusive apartment building in the Century City area of L.A.,” TMZ reported. “We’re told Wednesday afternoon the woman was on the sidewalk on her cellphone with sunglasses covering her eyes, sobbing and screaming on the phone, ‘I can’t believe you did this to me. I’m going to get a restraining order against you.'”
Avenatti reportedly showed up and tried to get into the building, but was blocked by security guards from getting onto the elevator. “She hit me first!” TMZ’s sources say he yelled. “This is bulls***, this is f***ing bulls***!” TMZ updated its piece by noting that law enforcement sources say “the LAPD has already obtained an emergency protective order, prohibiting Avenatti from going near the alleged victim.”
After rising to fame amid his public feud with Trump over the Daniels allegations, Avenatti’s star has fallen in recent weeks after he presented uncorroborated and outrageous allegations against Brett Kavanaugh by Julie Swetnick, whose credibility several witnesses have called into question. The Senate Judiciary Committee has since referred Avenatti and Swetnick to the Department of Justice for various charges including “potential false statements made to the Committee in violation of federal law.”