Criminal Justice

Michael Avenatti

Michael Avenatti. Photo from Shutterstock.com.

Updated: A 24-year-old actress has obtained a temporary restraining order that bars lawyer Michael Avenatti from contacting, attacking or harassing her and requires him to maintain a distance of at least 100 yards.

The TRO obtained by Mareli Miniutti remains in place until a Dec. 10 court hearing in Los Angeles, the New York Times reports. Court documents filed by Miniutti allege that Avenatti dragged her across the floor and out the door of his Los Angeles apartment on Nov. 13. BuzzFeed News and the Los Angeles Times also have coverage.

Avenatti represents Stormy Daniels in a suit to invalidate an agreement to keep quiet about an alleged affair with President Donald Trump. He also represented Daniels in a tossed suit alleging the president defamed her.

Avenatti was arrested on Nov. 14 on suspicion of domestic violence, but the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office announced on Wednesday that it will not be filing any felony charges against Avenatti, and it has referred the case to city prosecutors to consider whether misdemeanor charges would be appropriate, the Associated Press reports. Police did not release any details of the incident and did not name the victim, the Washington Post reported at the time.

Court documents filed Monday in connection with Miniutti’s request for a restraining order outline her allegations against 47-year-old Avenatti. Miniutti described Avenatti as her boyfriend and said she had been living with him since the beginning of the year, according to the articles.

Miniutti says she had gone to a guest bedroom in the apartment after an argument about money. Avenatti came into the bedroom, began hitting her “forcefully” in the face with pillows, and told her “you don’t get to sleep in my house tonight,” Miniutti says. Avenatti then grabbed her by the arm, and dragged her across the apartment floor and out the door into the public hallway, she alleges. Miniutti says she was wearing only her underwear and a T-shirt.

Miniutti says Avenatti then pulled her back into the apartment and briefly blocked the door. Inside, she put on pants, then she ran outside to an elevator, she says.

Miniutti also describes a prior incident in February in which Avenatti allegedly pushed her out of a different apartment and threw his shoes at her.

Avenatti denied the allegations in a tweet. “When the truth and the facts are fully disclosed, including the security camera footage, I will be vindicated and a lot of people and news organizations are going to owe me an apology as well as money. Completely bogus,” he said.

Miniutti, who is from Estonia, had roles in eight films, according to IMDb.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. to report that the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office will not be filing felony charges.


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