Lawyer Michael Avenatti's Accuser Appears Bruise-Free in Instagram Post Hours After Alleged Assault
The attorney claims the Instagram post exonerates him.
The identity of the woman accusing high-profile lawyer Michael Avenatti of domestic violence has been revealed.
She's an actress from Estonia named Mareli Miniutti, who recently appeared in a bit part in “Ocean’s 8.”
Her identity became public after she filed a domestic violence restraining order against Avenatti on Monday.
In the court papers, she claimed that she and Avenatti were arguing about money when he called her an "ungrateful f***ing bitch,” hit her "forcefully" in the face with pillows and warned, "Do not disrespect me. You don't get to sleep in my house tonight."
Miniutti said it happened last week at Avenatti's exclusive apartment building in the Century City area of Los Angeles. She claims Avenatti dragged her by the arm into the public hallway of the building while she was wearing only underwear and a T-shirt, and she got scratched up. She also said this wasn't the first time he'd gotten rough with her.
Avenatti, who represents Stormy Daniels and has loudly taken on President Trump, was arrested last week for felony domestic assault. The alleged victim's face was "swollen and bruised" with "red marks" on both cheeks, according to one report. Photos of the alleged injuries were also submitted.
Now, Avenatti claims an Instagram post proves the woman's claims are "bogus."
Miniutti’s Instagram account was switched to private Monday, right after she filed the restraining order. Avenatti said she posted a video last week, in the hours after she accused him of assault. In a screengrab of the video, posted by Avenatti, she looks happy and apparently bruise-free, although she could have concealed any injuries with makeup.
"People think they are so smart. Until they post stuff on IG that undercuts their bogus, fabricated claims they made less than 24 hrs earlier. We can't wait for justice!" Avenatti tweeted.
Avenatti, 47, who's expressed interest in running for president, and the actress, who is said to be in her early 20s, were reportedly seen together at multiple events in recent months.
After making bail last week, Avenatti said he will be “fully exonerated.”
"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. I am not going to be intimidated from stopping what I am doing," he said. "I am a father to two beautiful, smart daughters. I would never disrespect them by touching a woman inappropriately or striking a woman.
"I am looking forward to a full investigation at which point I am confident I will be fully exonerated. I also want to thank everyone for their support that has reached out. You know my character. You know me as a man and I appreciate it."
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