Avenatti Speaks After Arrest; "I Have Never Struck A Woman"

Update2: Michael Avenatti made a brief statement after his release from lockup Wednesday denying the allegations, and saying he looks forward to a "full investigation" after which he is confident that he will be "fully exonerated."

"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," Avenatti said. "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. Thank you."

Update: After Michael Avenatti's estranged wife issued a statement through her attorney Thursday night claiming that she "was not subject to any such incident on Tueasday night," TMZ updated their report, writing: "We were initially told by our sources the alleged victim was Avenatti's estranged wife. We now know it was not. The incident involved a different woman."

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This could complicate the launch of Avenatti 2020.

Michael Avenatti has been arrested on felony domestic violence charges, TMZ reported Wednesday afternoon. The LA lawyer, who's best known for representing porn actress Stormy Daniels and discredited Kavanaugh accuser Julie Swetnick, was picked up after his estranged wife filed a domestic violence police report. TMZ's source said her face was swollen and bruised when she arrived at the station.

LAPD confirmed Avenatti's arrest. His bail is set at $50,000. 

TMZ said the initial attack occurred on Tuesday, but the conflict between the two escalated Wednesday during a confrontation at an exclusive apartment building in Century City. According to TMZ, Avenatti is currently in custody.

Avenatti

The sordid details of the confrontation include the soon-to-be former Mrs. Avenatti screaming at her estranged husband over the phone after running outside of his apartment building, before her husband chased after her, screaming "she hit me first."

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."

We're told security brought her inside the building and Michael showed up 5 minutes later, ran into the building, chasing after her.  He screamed repeatedly, "She hit me first." We're told he angrily added, "This is bulls***, this is f***ing bulls***."

A law enforcement source say on Tuesday, Avenatti "kicked her out of the apartment" and that's presumably when the alleged domestic violence occurred.

Details of the Avenatti's acrimonious divorce have surfaced in press reports about the lavish lifestyle the two enjoyed during Avenatti's days of running a successful law firm in LA. But the relationship fell apart in 2017, around the time that Avenatti's firm ran into money trouble.

Sadly, this behavior isn't all that surprising. After all, Avenatti named his 'grassroots' political fundraising vehicle "Fight PAC". And this isn't Avenatti's first brush with misogyny: He caused a stir last month when he said during an interview that the Democratic Party's 2020 nominee "better be a white male." Because only another white man could beat Trump, he said.

Instead of apologizing for his comments, Avenatti insisted that he had been misquoted and claimed that he had always "called on" white males to do their part to stop misogyny and bigotry during his speeches.

That certainly didn't age well.