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Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti arrested on suspicion of domestic violence
[LOS ANGELES] Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who's sparred with US President Donald Trump on behalf of adult film star Stormy Daniels and has flirted with running for president himself, has been arrested on suspicion of domestic violence.
Avenatti was arrested earlier on Wednesday and remained in custody, said Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Mike Lopez, who declined to provide further details. Avenatti praised the department for its "professionalism" while calling the allegations "completely bogus."
"I have never been physically abusive in my life nor was I last night," Avenatti said in a statement issued by his law office. "Any accusations to the contrary are fabricated and meant to do harm to my reputation. I look forward to being fully exonerated."
The Southern California attorney shot to fame with his impassioned attacks on Trump while representing Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. She claims to have had a tryst with Trump in 2006 and has sought in court to nullify a US$130,000 "hush payment" deal she struck with Trump's longtime fixer Michael Cohen before the 2016 presidential election.
In the months leading up to Cohen's guilty plea in August to campaign finance violations, Ms Clifford's case made a TV personality of Avenatti. But her lawsuit was put into jeopardy when both Mr Trump and Cohen declared that they won't seek to enforce the non-disclosure agreement. To keep the case from being dismissed, Avenatti is trying to convince a federal judge that it's in the public's interest to get more details about the motivation behind the hush deal and where the money came from.
Avenatti was ordered by a California state judge in October to pay US$4.85 million to an attorney who worked with him at his former law firm, Eagan Avenatti LLP. Avenatti said at the time that the lawyer owes him more than US$7 million. Avenatti's current firm in Newport Beach, California, is called Avenatti & Associates APC.