Michael Avenatti, the embattled former attorney for the porn actress Stormy Daniels, was arrested Tuesday evening in California on suspicion of bail violations, according to a court filing by federal prosecutors.
The arrest came as Avenatti was appearing before the State Bar Court in Los Angeles, which is conducting disciplinary proceedings related to multiple criminal cases that have been filed against him in California and New York, the Daily Beast reported.
“I understand that Mr. Avenatti has been arrested by the federal authorities for violating the terms of his release,” attorney Steven Bledsoe, who represents Avenatti in the State Bar case, told the Daily Beast after being present for the arrest.
“Completely innocent,” Avenatti said as he was being led out of the courthouse, according to the news outlet, which reported that the arrest occurred during a break in testimony.
Shortly after the arrest, federal prosecutors in New York informed a judge there that Avenatti had been accused by prosecutors in California of violating the conditions of his bail.
The court filing did not make it clear what Avenatti allegedly did to violate bail. California court filings on the matter were not available Tuesday evening.
A message seeking comment was left with Avenatti’s attorneys.
Avenatti is scheduled for trial next week in Manhattan federal court on allegations that he extorted up to $25 million from Nike. He has pleaded not guilty in that case.
But he also faces trial in May in Los Angeles on charges that he defrauded clients of millions of dollars.
He has pleaded not guilty to those charges, along with allegations in a criminal case in Manhattan federal court alleging he ripped off ex-client porn star Daniels of proceeds of a book deal. The second New York trial was scheduled to start in May.