Since TMZ retracted its report that "creepy porn lawyer" Michael Avenatti's arrest on felony domestic violence charges stemmed from an incident involving his estranged wife, many have speculated about the identity of Avenatti's mystery victim. Adding a fresh wrinkle to the story, a petition for a restraining order against Avenatti has been filed by an aspiring actress who had a bit part in Ocean's 8, according to the Blast.
The actress, Mareli Miniutti filed the paperwork at a Santa Monica courthouse days after police said that the face of the woman who had been allegedly battered by Avenatti was "swollen and bruised."
Avenatti released a statement Monday night again insisting that he had never hit a woman and would soon be cleared.
I look forward to a full clearing of my name and disclosure of all of the facts. I have NEVER abused a woman or committed domestic violence against anyone. Any claim to the contrary is completely bogus and fabricated. I am a target. And I will be exonerated.— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) November 20, 2018
Miniutti, who has an address listed in lower Manhattan, didn't respond to press requests for comment. On Wednesday, police were called to an address by a woman who said she had been assaulted the night before. Later, Avenatti was detained on domestic violence charges, but was released on $50,000 bail later that day.
The lawyer and 2020 presidential hopeful has repeatedly insisted that he is innocent and that the charges were a setup...
"I wish to thank the hardworking men and woman of the LAPD for their professionalism. They were only doing their jobs in light of the completely bogus allegations against me," he said after his arrest.
...And has blamed Trump supporter Jacob Wohl for masterminding the effort to discredit him.
Jacob Wohl is a complete dirtbag. Dishonest. Unethical. Criminal. He had no right to come after Mueller or me. He will learn a very hard lesson through the judicial system. Very. https://t.co/HWsahUsbkx— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) November 19, 2018
As Avenatti struggles to plan his presidential bid, the "Fight Club PAC" founder and his law firm lost an emergency eviction appeal last week, and must now vacate Avenatti's Newport Beach offices by 6 am on Nov. 1.