Michael Avenatti is coming for Tucker Carlson now.
The lawyer has posted video to his Twitter alleging the far right pundit and his son assaulted “a gay Latino immigrant” in a Virginia country club. Carlson and Fox News have fired back, painting the man as the aggressor, but the alleged victim, Juan Manuel Granados, is now stepping forward – with witnesses.
“We are investigating an alleged assault on a gay latino immigrant committed by T. Carlson and/or members of his inner circle at a club in VA in Oct. It likely includes underage drinking in violation of VA law,” Avenatti tweeted. Carlson’s daughter is 19.
“We are attempting to locate additional witnesses and to identify those depicted in the video. In particular, we need assistance identifying the balding man that grabs the man seated at the bar. We anticipate charges being filed.”
After Avenatti’s tweet, Carlson issued a lengthy statement that claimed the man had verbally assaulted his daughter, calling her a “c–t” and a “whore.” Carlson admits that his son threw a drink in the man’s face at the bar.
“On October 13, I had dinner with two of my children and some family friends at the Farmington Country Club in Charlottesville, Virginia,” Carlson said. “Toward the end of the meal, my 19-year-old daughter went to the bathroom with a friend.”
“On their way back through the bar, a middle aged man stopped my daughter and asked if she was sitting with Tucker Carlson. My daughter had never seen the man before. She answered: ‘That’s my dad,’ and pointed to me. The man responded, ‘Are you Tucker’s whore?’ He then called her a ‘f*** c***.’ ”
“My daughter returned to the table in tears,” the statement continues. “She soon left the table and the club. My son, who is also a student, went into the bar to confront the man. I followed. My son asked the man if he’d called his sister a ‘whore’ and a ‘c**t.’ The man admitted he had, and again become profane. My son threw a glass of red wine in the man’s face and told him to leave the bar, which he soon did.”
“Immediately after the incident, I described these events to the management of the Farmington Country Club,” Carlson said. “The club spent more than three weeks investigating the incident. Last week, they revoked the man’s membership and threw him out of the club.”
“I love my children,” he added. “It took enormous self-control not to beat the man with a chair, which is what I wanted to do. I think any father can understand the overwhelming rage and shock that I felt seeing my teenage daughter attacked by a stranger.”
“But I restrained myself. I did not assault this man, and neither did my son. That is a lie. Nor did I know the man was gay or Latino, not that it would have mattered. What happened on October 13 has nothing to do with identity politics. It was a grotesque violation of decency. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.”
Avenatti quickly shot back, calling Carlson’s statement “an absolute lie” and pointing to the video evidence that shows the man quietly sitting at the bar as Carlson, his son, and a friend assault him.
“Your daughter nor your son were called those things. The man never admitted it,” Avenatti said in a multi-tweet thread. “You are the aggressor in the video as is your friend. The man at the bar sits there calmly. Numerous witnesses contradict your claim of innocence. Your daughter was drinking underage in a bar with your assistance and knowledge. You were intoxicated.”
“You told the man to ‘go back where you came from’ before the video starts. And if you were so innocent, why didn’t you disclose it weeks ago as you recently did in connection with the protest at your home?”
Granados put out his own statement this morning, rebutting Carlson’s statement after listing his local community involvement. He describes himself as “a proud gay member of the Latino community.”
The statement repeats Avenatti’s tweets from the evening before and says he intends to file assault charges against Carlson, Carlson’s college-aged son, and the unidentified friend.
A subsequent tweet from Avenatti links to a 2012 story from ABC News about a lawsuit Granados filed to gain access to a sports club with his partner and their child after being denied a family membership.