LOS ANGELES—Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti violently dragged his ex-girlfriend out of his apartment and called her an “ungrateful bitch,” according to court documents.
Mareli Miniutti also claimed that Avenatti hit her in the face with pillows while he berated her and ranted about how she had disrespected him.
The 24-year-old actress was granted a temporary restraining order, pending a court hearing on December 10, against Avenatti, 47, on Monday. Avenatti was arrested on domestic violence charges related to the alleged incident last week.
In the documents, Miniutti states that she is “afraid that [Avenatti] may cause harm to me and harass me.”
Along with the alleged November 13 assault, Miniutti also claimed the high-profile lawyer was physically violent to her in February 2018. On that occasion, she alleged, he became angry at her after drinking and pushed her into a hallway—where she hit her head—before throwing shoes at her.
Miniutti did not respond to requests for comment.
Avenatti tweeted on Tuesday that he will be “fully exonerated” when the “truth and the facts are fully disclosed, including the security camera footage.”
“I will be vindicated,” he added. “Completely bogus.”
On Monday, he also stated, “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.”
Describing in the restraining order what she says happened on November 13, Miniutti said: “I was in the master bedroom of the apartment I shared with [Avenatti]. [He] entered the apartment’s master bedroom and began talking to me. We began arguing about money, and [he] called me an ‘ungrateful, fucking bitch’ and began to berate me.”
Miniutti said she left the bedroom and went to try and sleep in the guest bedroom alone.
She wrote: “[Avenatti] eventually followed me to the guest bedroom, getting very close to me in a threatening manner that made me afraid. [He] continued to call me names, and call me an ‘ungrateful bitch.’”
“[Avenatti] began forcefully hitting me in the face with pillows from the bed. He then said words to the effect of, ‘Do not disrespect me. You don’t get to sleep in my house tonight.’”
The actress claimed that Avenatti then “grabbed” her right wrist: “[He] attempted to pull me out of the bed, which caused pain to my arm and wrist. While attempting to pull me out of the bed, [he] slipped and lost his grip on me.”
Miniutti said she began to text a friend on her cell phone but Avenatti allegedly “yelled” at her, grabbed the phone, and screamed, “This is my phone!” before putting it in his pocket.
She added: “At all times, he remained very close to me such that I was afraid for my safety. I screamed for help towards the nearby window.”
At this point Miniutti—dressed in her underwear and a t-shirt—claims Avenatti grabbed her right arm and dragged her out of bed, along the floor of the apartment and out into the public hallway.
The actress said she “suffered scratches to the bare skin on my side and leg” and attached photos of her alleged injuries as exhibits to her court filing.
In the hallway Miniutti claims she tried to raise the alarm by ringing the doorbell of a neighboring apartment, but that Avenatti stopped her.
She said: “[Avenatti] then yelled at me, grabbed me by the arm again, and pulled me back into his apartment. [He] then blocked the door with his body and prevented me from leaving the apartment by holding the door shut.”
She asked for her phone back but says Avenatti refused and then she fled to the guest bedroom again where she put on pants but wasn’t able to put on shoes.
She says she then managed to dodge Avenatti and escape the apartment and she ran to the elevator.
Miniutti eventually got in the service elevator and Avenatti managed to get into it, too, and the pair went down to the ground floor, she alleged.
The actress claimed Avenatti begged her not to speak about the alleged attack: “[He] repeatedly begged, “Don’t Do this Mareli, don’t involve them.”
She said she was then met by front-desk staff and Avenatti gave her phone back.
She was taken to another room to speak to security and called a friend to come and pick her up. She then went to her friend’s place and noticed “red marks” on her left side. She called the police, who came over and took her statement.
The next day, Nov. 14, Miniutti said she returned to the Century City apartment where staff allowed her to access Avenatti’s apartment. She locked the door and began to pack her belongings when she heard the door unlocking and Avenatti returned. She then went to the balcony and called the police and yelled at him to leave, which he did.
A short time later, she was told Avenatti had been arrested and she gave detectives another statement and left.
Miniutti also claims Avenatti acted in a “physically violent manner” toward her in February 2018.
She said: “At the time, I was living with [Avenatti] in a different apartment in the same building. [He] had been drinking, and he became angry at me. [He] pushed me out of the apartment into the public hallway, where I hit my head against a door across the hallway. [He] then threw my shoes at me, striking me in the leg.”
The actress says Avenatti “has a history of being very verbally abusive and financially controlling towards me.”
She claims he also “vehemently opposed” her desire to work outside of Hollywood and “made promises to ‘take care of me’ financially and sometimes fails to follow through.”
She finished her declaration: “I continue to be afraid of [him] and do not want him to contact me.”
On Tuesday night, CNN reported that Avenatti's lawyers had shared a different version of events with police. "Ms. Miniutti and Mr. Avenatti had an argument while in Mr. Avenatti's apartment during which Ms. Miniutti behaved in a volatile, agitated and irrational manner. However, Mr. Avenatti did not inflict any corporal injury or cause any traumatic condition upon Ms. Miniutti," the attorneys wrote in a statement.
A lawyer for Miniutti told CNN that the actress stood by her statements to police, adding, "The suggestions contained in Mr. Avenatti's counsel's letter to the LAPD are vindictive, contrary to the evidence, and unworthy of further reply." CNN also tracked down Miniutti's estranged husband, Michael Miniutti, who told the station that the couple had separated in January 2017 and that Mareli Miniutti was "never aggressive" and was a "calm, well-mannered, respectful individual. Very polite. Classy woman."
Miniutti requested her temporary restraining order application be hidden from public view. Her court filing also blindsided Avenatti, as she said she couldn’t give him notice “out of fear that more threats or violence will occur.” Her request to keep the order hidden was denied by the court.
Describing why she wanted the case kept out of the press, she wrote that Avenatti was a “nationally-known celebrity and potential presidential candidate. His arrest for domestic violence by the Los Angeles Police Department on or about November 14, 2018 made national news.” She claimed news reporters had already tried to contact her by email and phone and also had contacted friends of hers.
She wrote, “I am also afraid to pursue this restraining order because the media have relentlessly been trying to find me.” She said it had made her feel “very unsafe” adding, “[Avenatti] is on friendly terms with many persons with the media. It makes me feel terrified. [He] draws media attention for almost everything he does. He is very powerful.”
It’s not the first time Avenatti has been accused of aggressive behavior, although this marks the first known accusation of physical violence.
Lisa Storie-Avenatti, his ex-wife, described him as “emotionally abusive” in divorce papers.
Avenatti “is hot tempered and used to having his way—when he doesn’t, he gets extremely loud and verbally aggressive,” Storie-Avenatti stated in one declaration.
She pointed to a Dec. 17, 2017 incident when she says she offered to allow Avenatti to visit with their 3-year-old son, with a nanny present. Avenatti “took umbrage with the request for a nanny,” Storie-Avenatti stated.
At that time, Avenatti had moved out of the couple’s Newport Beach house and was living at the opulent Ten Thousand building in Century City. But on Dec. 17, he appeared unannounced at the Newport Beach house with his 15-year-old daughter from a previous marriage and demanded entry to the residence, divorce papers allege.
Storie-Avenatti claimed that after she had the nanny take their son upstairs, Avenatti “immediately started yelling at me to let him into the house and started to videotape me with his phone.” She added that Avenatti threatened her “that he would be staying at the house every night in the coming week.”
“I told [Avenatti] to stop making a scene and that he was scaring [his daughter] who was hiding behind a pillar,” Storie-Avenatti stated.
In response, Avenatti allegedly said his daughter wasn’t scared and “was there to be his witness,” Storie-Avenatti said in court filings.
The lawyer allegedly continued to yell at Storie-Avenatti and called police. Once officers arrived, Avenatti told them he wanted access to the house. Storie-Avenatti said cops declined his request.
Instead, Avenatti stood at the front of the residence yelling for an hour, “even after Lisa walked around to the back patio to escape” his tirade, according to a memorandum filed by Storie-Avenatti’s attorney.
The memorandum also states that Avenatti didn’t answer cops’ questions on “why” he wanted access to the house and “what” he wanted inside.
Two days later, according to Storie-Avenatti, the estranged couple met at a public place to plan a Christmas visitation schedule and Avenatti further threatened her.
“During our short meeting, [Avenatti] threatened he will ‘burn’ all of our money on our divorce case and that he will call the ‘cops’ again causing us both to be arrested, which will, in turn, cause [our son] to be placed into protective custody,” she added in her court declaration.
“I am concerned for myself and for [our son] that [Avenatti’s] temper and lack of child centeredness, as evidenced by the scene he made on December 17 in which he involved his daughter and the police, and the threats he made on December 19, that [Avenatti] will cause repeated emotional upheaval if we share a residence,” Storie-Avenatti stated.
In his own court filings, Avenatti accused his ex-wife of locking him out of their home and changing the locks and access codes.
“I have two teenage daughters from my prior marriage,” Avenatti stated in a declaration. “I have never neglected nor abused any of my children. In fact, I have a great relationship with my ex-wife from my prior marriage, as well as with my daughters.”