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Michael Avenatti Arrested, Hits Back on Domestic Violence Charges

Attorney for both spurned Super Bowl seat-holders and president-linked porn stars, Michael Avenatti, was arrested yesterday on suspicion of felony domestic violence. As with anything involving Avenatti, the accusations (and cross-accusations) have been flying fast, so here's an update on where the case and the claims stand so far.

He Said, She Said

According to reports, a woman filed a felony domestic violence report against Avenatti, including claims that her face was "swollen and bruised" with "red marks" on both cheeks. TMZ cited sources saying one alleged incident occurred Tuesday night and was another confrontation Wednesday in an exclusive apartment building in Los Angeles.

TMZ originally reported that the domestic violence claims were made by Avenatti's estranged wife, but retracted that after an attorney for Lisa Storie-Avenatti released a statement: "Ms. Storie-Avenatti was not subject to any such incident on Tuesday night. Further, she was not at Mr. Avenatti's apartment on the date that this alleged incident occurred."

According to TMZ:

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."
We're told security brought her inside the building, took her upstairs and Michael showed up 5 minutes later and ran into the building. He screamed repeatedly, "She hit me first." We're told he angrily added, "This is bulls***, this is f***ing bulls***." We're told he tried getting into the elevator but security denied him access.

He Said, He Said

"I have never been physically abusive in my life nor was I last night," Avenatti asserted in a statement yesterday. "Any accusations to the contrary are fabricated and meant to do harm to my reputation. I look forward to being fully exonerated." The attorney also appeared to blame conservative gadfly Jacob Wohl for the charges. Wohl's Surefire Intelligence retweeted a report of the arrest with the comment: "Surefire Intelligence strikes again."

"First Mueller and now me," Avenatti tweeted in response. "When we are fully exonerated I am coming for you Jacob Wohl aka Surefire." Wohl and Surefire are currently under FBI investigation for an alleged plot to fabricate sexual assault claims against special counsel Robert Mueller in a failed attempt to derail the investigation into President Trump's connection to Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

"Michael Avenatti's criminal threats against me are being reported to law enforcement as we speak," Wohl told NBC News today. "Coming from a guy who is on bail for a violent felony, it's quite unnerving."

She Said

As for Avenatti's most famous client, Stormy Daniels is unnerved, but as yet unconvinced. "These are serious and obviously very troubling allegations, but right now that is all they are: allegations," Daniels said in a statement. "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."

Given both Avenatti's background and Wohl's, this episode is far from over.

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