Fox News host Tucker Carlson and lawyer Michael Avenatti escalated their fight over an October incident at a Virginia country club Sunday, with both sides releasing scathing public statements and Avenatti’s client threatening to sue the conservative TV personality for assault.
The spat began on Saturday morning, when Avenatti tweeted a 43-second video of Carlson berating Avenatti’s client Juan Manuel Granados at Charlottesville’s Farmington Country Club on Oct. 13. In the video, Carlson can be seen yelling, “You better get the f--- out of here!” multiple times, while an unidentified man grabs Granados’ shirt.
“We are investigating an alleged assault on a gay latino immigrant committed by T. Carlson and/or members of his inner circle at a club in VA in Oct.,” Avenatti wrote. “It likely includes underage drinking in violation of VA law.”
“We anticipate charges being filed,” he wrote in a second tweet.
Carlson responded by offering a Saturday statement to reporters that detailed his account of what transpired. He said the altercation began much earlier than could be seen in the video, when Granados insulted a member of his family.
“On October 13, I had dinner with two of my children and some family friends at the Farmington Country Club,” Carlson wrote. “Toward the end of the meal, my 19-year-old daughter went to the bathroom with a friend. On their way back through the bar, a middle aged man stopped my daughter and asked her if she was sitting with Tucker Carlson.”
When his daughter said yes and that Carlson was her father, he said, things got ugly: “The man responded ‘Are you Tucker’s whore?’ He then called her a ‘fucking cunt.’”
After his daughter “returned to the table in tears” and left the building soon after, Carlson added, his son decided to confront the man who had insulted her. After the man allegedly confirmed that he had called her a whore and became “profane,” Carlson said, his son threw a glass of red wine in the man’s face and asked him to leave.
Carlson then reported the incident to the club’s management—and, he said, the man’s membership was revoked after three weeks of investigation.
“I love my children,” Carlson concluded. “It took enormous self-control not to beat the man with a chair, which is what I wanted to do… But I restrained myself. I did not assault this man, and neither did my son. That’s a lie. Nor did I know the man was gay or Latino, not that it would have mattered. What happened on October 13 has nothing to do with identity politics. It was a gross violation of decency. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.”
On Sunday, Avenatti and Granados fired back. In a statement tweeted by Avenatti, Granados denied the vast majority of Carlson’s claims and labeled the TV host’s explanation a “complete fabrication.”
While Avenatti acknowledged that his client told Carlson’s daughter, “I can’t believe you’re having dinner with him,” Granados flatly denied using any type of slur.
“I NEVER called any member of his family any names,” Granados wrote, adding that “I certainly never apologized for using those words or admitted to saying them because I never said them. Many witnesses support this fact. Tucker has created this story out of thin air—it never happened.”
Granados also rejected the accusation that he was the one who sparked the altercation. “Tucker’s son and Tucker, along with the unidentified ‘friend’ were the aggressors last night as shown in the video,” he wrote. “I never threatened any of them. When one views the video, you can clearly see whom is being aggressive. I am seated calmly.”
“Tucker threatened me with physical violence and told me to ‘Go back to where you came from’ before another patron started filming the incident,” Granados added. “On the video, Tucker is shown yelling various profanities at me and threatening me. Tucker’s friend is seen grabbing me, yanking me off my chair and also threatening physical violence while another patron says there is no need for physical violence.”
Finally, Granados claimed that Carlson’s 19-year-old daughter was drinking while underage. “She repeatedly came to the bar to get drinks and Tucker was fully aware his daughter was drinking,” he alleged.
At the end of his statement, Granados threatened to press charges against Carlson, his son, and his unidentified friend for assault and battery.
“I am confident after a full and complete investigation that the truth will be known,” Granados concluded, “and Tucker’s version of events will be shown to be a complete fabrication.”
This isn’t the first time Carlson and Avenatti have sparred. Tensions first escalated between the two when Avenatti appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight—and Carlson’s chyron labeled Avenatti a “creepy porn lawyer,” just moments after Carlson claimed he would try to take him “seriously.”
A few hours after Avenatti tweeted his Sunday statement, Carlson responded by tweeting the statement he had sent to reporters the day prior.
“Last month one of my children was attacked by a stranger at dinner,” he wrote. “For her sake, I was hoping to keep the incident private. It’s now being politicized by the Left.”