Adult-film actress Stormy Daniels said Thursday that she would get a new lawyer if the domestic violence allegations against Michael Avenatti, her current attorney, are true.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, made her first public comments about Avenatti’s Wednesday arrest in a speech Thursday before Oxford University’s debating society.
“I will say that right now they are just allegations and I am going to reserve judgment, and I hope that everyone does – trust me, I know what it feels like to be on the other end of that – until all the details are discovered,” Daniels said.
“But if the allegations turn out to be true then I will definitely be seeking new representation because I cannot condone or support someone who is abusive,” she added.
Avenatti was arrested Wednesday evening in Los Angeles and later posted $50,000 bail. He denied the allegations while speaking to reporters outside the police station, saying, “I have never struck a woman. I never will strike a woman.”
Later, in a statement on Twitter, Avenatti added, “I want to be clear: I DID NOT commit domestic violence nor have I ever committed domestic violence. I did not strike any woman nor have I ever. I did not strike my ex-wife in the face nor did I hit anyone else in the face. I am a decent man & I look forward to being exonerated.”
After landing in the United Kingdom, Daniels said she was “bombarded late last night with the information” regarding Avenatti’s arrest while being forced to contend with lost luggage.
Avenatti has positioned himself as Daniels’ strongest supporter, regularly appearing on cable news shows and speaking to the press regarding the alleged affair between Daniels and Trump a decade ago. He has represented Daniels in a lawsuit alleging the nondisclosure agreement she signed before the 2016 election was null because Trump never signed the agreement himself. Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen signed the agreement on Trump’s behalf and paid Daniels $130,000 as part of the deal.
The allegations of domestic violence could taint the public persona Avenatti has created for himself as a progressive champion of women, affecting his aspirations for the 2020 presidential bid with which he has been flirting.
When asked about whether she would support Avenatti’s potential candidacy, Daniels said, “I’m sure Michael’s not going to like hearing this, but until I know all of the candidates and their platforms, I will not endorse anyone, but I’m open-minded.”