The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday afternoon that they will not be pursuing felony charges against California attorney Michael Avenatti.
Avenatti was arrested last week on suspicion of felony domestic violence.
“A case presented today by Los Angeles police involving attorney Michael Avenatti has been referred to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office for misdemeanor filing consideration,” a message from the Los Angeles DA’s official Twitter account said.
The identity of the alleged victim in this case went public this week. The woman was identified as Avenatti’s girlfriend, actress Mareli Miniutti. According to IMDB, she has appeared in productions of “How to Be Single,” “Chuck,” “Forgetting Sandy Glass,” “The Go Girls,” “The Mystery Gang” and “Ocean’s Eight.”
According to the documents, Miniutti alleged that she and Avenatti had been arguing over money on November 13, when he allegedly called her an “ungrateful f**king bitch,” before hitting her in the face with pillows, grabbing her by the wrist, pulling her off a bed and dragging her by arm on his apartment floor. At one point, he allegedly told her, “Do not disrespect me. You don’t get to sleep in my house tonight.” Miniutti also reportedly claimed that Avenatti has been “verbally abusive and financially controlling” in the past, and mentioned an incident from February. She claimed he pushed her out of his apartment into the hallway, resulting in her hitting her head on a neighbor’s door.
Avenatti has denied the allegations of abuse from the start, saying that he has never struck a woman.
“I want to thank the hard-working men and women of the LAPD for their professionalism and their work today. They had no option in light of the allegations,” he said after he was released from police custody on Nov. 14. “I have never struck a woman. I 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,” he added. “I am not going to be intimidated from stopping what I am doing. I am a father to two beautiful, smart daughters. I would never disrespect them by touching a woman inappropriately or striking a woman.”
Avenatti released a statement on Wednesday, saying that he was “thankful” that the DA “rejected” filing felony charges against him.
“I am thankful that the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has rejected filing any charges against me after a fair, careful and thorough investigation,” Avenatti said. “I have maintained my innocence since the moment of my arrest. I wish to thank my supporters, friends, family, attorneys and clients for the outpouring of support they provided.”
“This Thanksgiving, I am especially grateful for justice,” he said.
Avenatti then tweeted “Full Steam Ahead” and promoted The Fight PAC.
[Image via Mark Ralston/ AFP/Getty Images]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]