Michael Avenatti Says He'll Sue TMZ 'Cockroaches' Over Domestic Violence Story

Michael Avenatti is prepared to take legal action against TMZ following the website's "malicious and false" reporting of his domestic violence scandal. Avenatti was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence Wednesday after a woman filed a report claiming he hit her in the face.

Although the woman involved in the alleged attack remains unnamed, TMZ—one of the first outlets to report on the story—initially identified the woman as Avenatti's estranged wife, Lisa-Storie Avenatii, whom the famed attorney allegedly stuck in the face, leaving her "swollen and bruised" with "red marks."

TMZ reported the alleged physical altercation took place on Tuesday and claimed the woman encountered Avenatti again on Wednesday outside an apartment building in Los Angeles. It was then that she allegedly caused a scene, according to TMZ, and shouted, "I can't believe you did this to me. I'm going to get a restraining order against you."

Avenatti was arrested following the alleged attack but was released on $50,000 bail Wednesday afternoon.

Avenatti denied the accusations in a statement on Thursday, but he amped up his crusade against TMZ's reporting of the story on Friday, threatening to sue the media outlet. "Whomever wrote and approved that TMZ article better get their checkbook ready because it was purposely malicious and false," he tweeted.

"It was designed to harm Lisa, me and my family and we are going expose TMZ for what they did. No journalist should rely on or defend garbage like that."

CNN reporter M.J. Lee confirmed that Avenatti was planning to take legal action against TMZ for naming his ex-wife in the story. In a Twitter post, Lee said Avenatti, who may be vying for a spot as a potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, is "most certainly going to sue TMZ."

"Those cockroaches should crawl back from where they came. The TMZ article is garbage," Avenatti said. "There was no woman on the sidewalk screaming at me. I never screamed at anyone in the lobby. There were no swollen bruises or red marks on anyone's face. I never struck anyone in the face."

Michael Avenatti tells me he will sue TMZ, which initially reported Avenatti got into an altercation with his wife: “When this matter is concluded, we are most certainly going to sue TMZ. Those cockroaches should crawl back from where they came. The TMZ article is garbage.”

— MJ Lee (@mj_lee) November 16, 2018

More from @MichaelAvenatti: “There’s was no woman on the sidewalk screaming at me. I never screamed at anyone in the lobby. There were no swollen bruises or red marks on anyone’s face. I never struck anyone on the face.”

— MJ Lee (@mj_lee) November 16, 2018