Keith Ellison, one of the leading candidates to be Minnesota’s next attorney general, confronted allegations Sunday of domestic abuse of a former girlfriend that surfaced days before the election that will decide the party’s nominee.
The allegation that the physical abuse was caught on video was posted to Facebook late Saturday night by the woman’s son, four days before Minnesota’s primary election, where Ellison is facing off against four other Democrats for the open attorney general’s seat, CBS Minnesota reports.
In a written statement Sunday, Ellison denied the incident.
He said he was in a “long-term relationship” that ended in 2016 but he denied the allegation of abuse.
“I still care deeply for her well-being,” he wrote. “This video does not exist because I never behaved in this way, and any characterization otherwise is false.”
State Rep. Debra Hilstrom, who also is running for the Democratic nomination for attorney general, recirculated the Facebook post and called on Ellison to answer the allegation. She tweeted the Saturday account from Austin Monahan, the son of Karen Monahan, Ellison’s former longtime girlfriend. By Sunday afternoon the post had been shared more than 2,000 times.
Hilstrom was later joined by Democratic candidates Matt Pelikan and Tom Foley, who separately called for Ellison to address the allegation.
In the post, Austin Monahan, 25, said that in 2017 he was going through his mother’s computer when he saw a file that included a two-minute video showing Ellison in a physical altercation with his mother.
The Facebook post reads:
Please read, if you care about my mother please share.
I love you momma, you wont have to stand alone
Keith Ellison Keith Ellison for Attorney General Jason Sole Shvonne L Johnson Will Moore @Shiranthi Goonathilaka Stephen Davis Kiree Jamar Robinson Kendra Weiland Deanna Casablanca Valentine F Ndi Justin Monahan StarTribune.com Pioneer Press Lindsey Port Erin Maye Quade Debra Hilstrom Matt Pelikan Hosie Thurmond III
My name is Austin Monahan and I am writing this letter on behalf of me and my brother.
My brother and I watched our mom come out of pure hell after getting out of her relationship with Keith Ellison. For several months we knew something wasn’t right and couldn’t figure it out. When we asked our mom if everything was ok, she told us she was dealing with some stress and would be ok.
In the middle of 2017, I was using my moms computer trying to download something and I clicked on a file, I found over 100 text and twitters messages and video almost 2 min long that showed Keith Ellison dragging my mama off the bed by her feet, screaming and calling her a “fucking bitch” and telling her to get the fuck out of his house.
The messages I found, were mixed with him consistently telling my mom he wanted her back, he missed her, he knew he fucked up and we wished he could do things different, he would victim shaming, bully her, and threaten her if she went public. I text him and told him I know what you did to my mama and a few other things.
I met up with my mom that night and asked her what happened. She said nothing happened until I told her I saw a video and hell of a lot of messages saying something different. She finally talked. My brother and I were so angry and hurt for our mom. We were ready to go public but our mom begged us not to and she along with others convinced us it wasn’t in our moms best interest.
I saw message after message through out all that time, where my mom was telling him she wasn’t going back to him but still saw his humanity and offered restorative justice. I honestly don’t see how she would offer him that, but thats her choice.
Sitting all this time, watching what our mom went through and not being able to say or do anything was hard as hell. None of you know the hell our family has gone through. I don’t think half of you would even care. We watched her so called political friends stand by say or do nothing. People had an idea what happened and never reached out to my mom.
The same people who are posting about social justice are ready to smear my mom, protect a person who abused her and broke the law. You think we give a shit about a politics when we saw what our mom went through?
She may not matter to none of you, but she is our mom, our kids grandmother and she is actually someone. There is a lot more he has done to my mom and others that we saw in the text but our mom can decide if and when she wants to tell the world that part.
Whether we saw the video or read all those messages, we still would have believed her if she had told us. #Ibelieveher
My mom has always tried to protect me and my brother. She doesn’t have to protect us anymore and we aren’t letting her stand alone. When we found out our mom was planning on sharing her story, that is all we needed to hear for us to share ours and stand with our mom. You want to smear someone, try to lie about a person who didn’t do shit to deserve the ongoing emotional, physical abuse, smear me and my brother.
I use to believe the Democrats were the ones who would stand by a person who went through this kind of abuse, now I know both Democrats and Republicans could care less when it comes to violence toward women and girls.
I have learned a lot about how patriarchy has shaped me as a 25 year old through all this. I just became a father and I am working on how patriarchy influenced thoughts ad decisions I have made as a young man so I can teach my son better. I am starting today by standing with my mom, my sons grandma. It is not just on women and girls to speak out, it is on men to do some of the emotional work. I’m not here to prove shit to anyone, I’m just stating facts. You can take it or leave it.
Mom, I am sure you are getting contacted about this post. Just know we love you and we are standing by you.
#Ibelieveher #wearemanenough #Timesup
There are no police reports or court documents confirming the incident. Austin Monahan said he confronted Ellison by text message after he saw that video and said “I know what you did to my mamma.”
Karen Monahan, an organizer with the Sierra Club, was in a relationship with Ellison for years. The two are seen together in many of her social media posts, including hiking in together national parks and posing with the Obamas at the White House. Records show she lived in his Minneapolis home before their relationship ended. Ellison, who was previously married to a different woman, is divorced.
In recent weeks, Karen Monahan has been active on social media talking about the #MeToo movement, which encourages women to share their experiences of sexual harassment and assault, and has also shown public support for Hilstrom’s campaign for attorney general. Until now, she hadn’t named Ellison in the posts but she had tagged him in many.
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
August 13th, 2018