The actress who has accused lawyer Michael Avenatti of domestic abuse sought to receive a restraining order against him on Monday, according to court documents obtained by The Blast, an entertainment news website.
Mareli Miniutti, a 24-year-old actress who, according to The New York Post, keeps an address in New York City, filed the petition for a restraining order in Los Angeles court on Monday. Miniutti hails from Estonia and recently played a small role in the film Ocean’s 8. Avenatti is the firebrand lawyer who shot to fame by representing Stormy Daniels in her legal battle against President Donald Trump over alleged hush money payments made to her in order to cover up a sexual affair from years ago.
The restraining order petition stems from allegations of domestic violence made against Avenatti last week, which resulted in LAPD officers arresting him. The lawyer was released after posting $50,000 bail, and he swiftly proclaimed his innocence. He echoed sentiments on Monday evening, pledging that he’s confident he will be exonerated of the charges and suggesting that he’s being framed. Photos contained in the court documents for the restraining order show Miniutti with bruises, which she says in the filing are the result of physical violence inflicted by Avenatti. She says the two have been dating for more than a year and that they’ve been living together since January. Over that time, she claims, she’s been subjected to physical and verbal abuse.
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
In the filing, Miniutti goes into detail about the alleged incident that resulted in Avenatti’s arrest, saying the two got into an argument over money and that the lawyer began hitting her in the face with a pillow. She said Avenatti then “grabbed me by right arm and dragged me out of the bed … and into the public hallway” of their apartment. She was wearing only underwear and a T-shirt at the time. She took off and only later noticed several bruises on her body, which prompted her to call police. Avenatti was arrested the following day.
Avenatti has flirted with mounting a presidential bid as a Democrat in 2020, saying he would confront Trump in a bold way. It’s unclear whether the allegations will derail any political aspirations he has. Stormy Daniels, the woman who made him famous, is standing by him, albeit tacitly, for the time being. “Right now they are just allegations, and I’m going to reserve judgment and I hope that everyone does, because, trust me, I know what it feels like to be on the other end of that,” Daniels told CBS News. But she left open the possibility of firing him if the allegations are proven to be true.
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