A day after Avenatti was arrested, his most famous client, who sought his representation amid her battle against President Trump, issued a statement saying that despite the “serious” allegations against him, she will not be seeking new counsel for now. However, she said she will be paying attention to how his case plays out and will find a new lawyer if need be.
“These are serious and obviously very troubling allegations, but right now that is all they are: allegations. We should reserve all judgement until the investigation — an investigation Michael has said he welcomes — is complete and that’s what I’m going to do,” she said in a statement to New York magazine. “But of course I do not condone violence against women and if these allegations prove true I will be seeking new representation.”
— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) November 15, 2018
Avenatti was arrested on a charge of felony domestic violence in L.A. on Wednesday after an unidentified woman, not his estranged wife, as initially reported, filed a complaint against him. The incident reportedly occurred Tuesday, but there was a subsequent encounter between them on Wednesday. The woman was granted an emergency protective order. Avenatti was released on $50,000 bail and held a brief press conference in which he insisted that he “never struck a woman” and “will never strike a woman.” He said he’s confident that after the investigation he will be “fully exonerated.”
In Daniels’s book Full Disclosure, the famed adult film star talked about how she was connected with Avenatti, who said her first impression of him was that he was “gorgeous.” Just prior to the 2016 presidential election, she had signed her infamous $130,000 nondisclosure agreement with Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen undertaking not to talk about their alleged 2006 affair. However, when she discovered that Cohen had apparently breached the agreement, she asked her attorney, Keith Davidson, to take action, but she said he didn’t. So she decided she needed to find “a decent lawyer to help me tell my story and really advocate for me.” After a meeting with a top attorney didn’t pan out, that person recommended Avenatti.
Daniels said that when meeting Avenatti in a hotel lobby, she was struck by how “gorgeous” he was, and they discussed her case over cocktails. “I was still mad about being stood up by the other lawyer and saddled with this pretty boy,” Daniels wrote. “I barreled through it, telling the whole story brashly because this was going to be one more guy who just wanted to hear about the freak show but wouldn’t actually do anything to help me. I could tell this Avenatti was sizing me up and down, trying to figure out if I was lying or not.” He ultimately found her story to be truthful — and signed on to help her through her high-profile battle with Trump, before he became president.
Avenatti, who wrote the foreword for Daniels’s book, later represented Julie Swetnick, who accused Trump’s second pick for the Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, of sexual misconduct. (Those allegations are being investigated.) He also said he is considering a 2020 bid for the presidency.
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