Michael Avenatti—who has represented Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against Donald Trump and therefore fashioned himself as something of a champion of women (kind of)—was arrested on Wednesday over felony domestic violence allegations, TMZ was first to report.
Los Angeles police reportedly arrested Avenatti after a woman filed a felony domestic violence report of an incident that allegedly occurred on Tuesday. Sources tell TMZ a second confrontation took place on Wednesday between Avenatti and the woman who filed the report at an apartment building in Century City.
During that second confrontation, the woman was reportedly seen standing on a sidewalk, wearing sunglasses, and crying on the phone as she said, “I can’t believe you did this to me. I’m going to get a restraining order against you.” TMZ reports that security then brought her inside the building and upstairs, where Avenatti arrived five minutes later. TMZ was told Avenatti yelled several times that “she hit me first,” adding “this is fucking bullshit.” Shortly after, police arrived at the building, spoke to Avenatti for a few minutes, then took him into custody.
TMZ initially reported that the woman was Avenatti’s estranged wife; the tabloid now says they believe “the incident involves a different woman.” Attorneys for Avenatti’s wife, Lisa Storie-Avenatti, said in a statement to Buzzfeed News that she is not the woman who filed the domestic violence complaint.
Avenatti became a fixture of cable news programs after representing Daniels as she spoke publicly about her alleged affair with Trump and payments made by Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen said to be hush money. In August, Avenatti announced he was considering a run for the presidency in 2020.
Avenatti reportedly remains in the custody of the LAPD, but has not been booked.