Mareli Miniutti, 24, claimed in court documents that Avenatti physically and verbally abused her during a yearlong relationship. She said that the lawyer shoved her during a fight last week and forced her out of their apartment in West Los Angeles, claims that resulted in Avenatti being arrested a day later.
Avenatti rejected Miniutti’s claims, and his lawyers cast the argument in a different light in a statement to CNN, saying the woman “behaved in a volatile, agitated and irrational manner” during a fight.
“However, Mr. Avenatti did not inflict any corporal injury or cause any traumatic condition upon Ms. Miniutti,” they said.
Miniutti claimed Avenatti swore at her during the fight and called her “ungrateful,” the Los Angeles Times reported, citing the actress’ court declaration. She alleges he then hit her in the face with pillows.
He vehemently denied the claims, saying he had “never struck a woman” and “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,” the attorney said at a news conference after posting bail last week. “I am not going to be intimidated from stopping what I am doing.”
He is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 5.
The attorney has become a household name in recent months after representing the adult film star Stormy Daniels in several cases against President Donald Trump. Daniels claims she had an affair with Trump in 2006. She says she was paid $130,000 in hush money just weeks before the 2016 election to keep quiet about the tryst by the president’s former lawyer Michael Cohen.
Daniels signed a nondisclosure agreement surrounding the payment but has sued to void the deal, in part because the president never signed it. Trump has maintained that the affair did not happen, although Cohen told a federal court in August he paid Daniels under his client’s orders.