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Lawyer Michael Avenatti arrested on domestic violence charges, denies 'ever hitting a woman'

LOS ANGELES — Michael Avenatti has been arrested on suspicion of domestic violence and was booked Wednesday evening.

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Avenatti was taken into custody and released Wednesday after a police report was filed by an unidentified victim in Century City, according to KNBC-TV. Police had responded to a domestic violence incident a day earlier and took a report.

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When he walked out of the police station Wednesday, Avenatti told reporters he “has never struck a woman.”

He said he has been an advocate for women’s rights and would never disrespect his children by “touching a woman inappropriately.”

Avenatti said he’s confident he will be fully exonerated after police complete a thorough investigation.

Los Angeles police confirmed that Avenatti was arrested Wednesday afternoon and his bail was set at $50,000.

Officer Tony Im, a police spokesman, said the victim had visible injuries. He declined to provide details about the victim’s relationship to Avenatti.

Avenatti disputed the allegations in a statement obtained by Buzzfeed News:

"I wish to thank the hard working men and woman of the LAPD for their professionalism they were only doing their jobs in light of the completely bogus allegations against me. I have never been physically abusive in my life nor was I last night. Any accusations to the contrary are fabricated and meant to do harm to my reputation. I look forward to being fully exonerated."

Avenatti's first wife, Christine Avenatti-Carlin, also provided a statement to Buzzfeed saying that "He is a very good man."

"I've known Michael for the last 26 years. We met when he was 21 years old and we were married for 13 years. Michael has always been a loving kind father to our two daughters and husband. He has never been abusive to me or anyone else. He is a very good man."

The Vermont Democratic Party canceled a weekend appearance by Avenatti following Wednesday's report.

Avenatti has represented adult film star Stormy Daniels in her court battle with President Donald Trump.

Avenatti is also mulling a 2020 presidential run.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Michael Avenatti, attorney for Stormy Daniels, speaks to reporters as he exits the United States District Court Southern District of New York for a hearing related to Michael Cohen, President Trump's longtime personal attorney and confidante, April 16, 2018 in New York City. Cohen and lawyers representing President Trump are asking the court to block Justice Department officials from reading documents and materials related to Cohen's relationship with President Trump that they believe should be protected by attorney-client privilege. Officials with the FBI, armed with a search warrant, raided Cohen's office and two private residences last week. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)