Star Tribune, a local Minnesota newspaper, sued to unseal the divorce records of Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.), the Democratic candidate for state attorney general.
The divorce records between Ellison and his ex-wife, Kim Ellison, were sealed in 2012 and have become of public interest as Ellison faces an allegation he abused an ex-girlfriend.
Ellison’s ex-girlfriend Karen Monahan accused the congressman of hurling insults at her and dragging her out of bed. She claimed the incident occurred in 2016 after Ellison told her to take out the trash. Ellison, who also serves as the Democratic National Committee deputy chairman, denied the accusations as “not true” and said the independent investigation into them will prove Monahan’s claims are false.
Ellison’s ex-wife has come out in support of Ellison, saying he “never abused me in any way before, during, or after our marriage.” Ellison and his ex-wife have filed a joint opposition to the Tribune‘s push to unseal the divorce records.
The Ellison campaign released a statement from Kim Ellison.
“Our divorce simply isn’t the public’s business, and therefore, when we separated, we jointly asked the court to seal the file. Now, one month before a closely contested election for Minnesota Attorney General, a conservative group wants to probe our divorce file in search of something to use against Keith in this race. I am disappointed that the Star Tribune would choose to file this motion,” the statement said.
A Hennepin County District Judge will decide whether to unseal the divorce records.
During last Friday’s debate, Ellison was asked if more accusers would come forward with allegations against him. He responded by saying he has no idea what allegations others would “cook up.”
“Look, in this political environment, I don’t know what somebody might cook up,” Ellison replied. “But I could tell you that there is absolutely nobody that I am aware of who has any sort of—who is threatening or suggesting or who has ever made a prior accusation about me.”
Ms. Monahan posted the Minnesota clinic’s write-up from her visit to corroborate her accusations of physical and emotional abuse made public in August, which Mr. Ellison has denied.
“When I post this, it gets deleted every time,” she tweeted.
The document from the Park Nicollet clinic dated Nov. 28, 2017, said she was being treated for anemia and that she attributed it to the stress from her relationship with Mr. Ellison, which he has said ended in 2016.
“She states that she was in a very stressful environment for years, emotional and physical abuse by a partner with whom she is now separated,” said the clinic’s progress notes. “She did not have any physical injuries that required a physical examination in the past.”
The medical report continued, “She identifies the individual she was involved with as congressmen [sic] Ellison, and she is worried about retribution if she identifies him publicly.”
When I post this, it gets deleted every time pic.twitter.com/uAJNx8AgF5
— Karen Monahan (@KarenMonahan01) September 19, 2018
The release came after she tweeted Monday that she had provided medical records to the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Laborer Party, which began investigating the charges last month.
Mr. Ellison, who is giving up his congressional seat to run for Minnesota attorney general, issued a statement last month confirming the relationship but denying that he abused Ms. Monahan, a Sierra Club organizer.
Democrats have stood behind Mr. Ellison, who serves as deputy DNC chairman, since she accused him last month of physical and emotional abuse during their two-year relationship.
The Democratic National Committee said initially it was “reviewing” the allegations, but DNC chairman Tom Perez later said he had deferred to the Minnesota DFL.
The allegations emerged after Ms. Monahan’s son Austin Monahan said in a Aug. 11 Facebook post that Mr. Ellison had put his mother through “pure hell” and said he had discovered a video of the congressman dragging his mother from bed and screaming at her.
Mr. Ellison has denied that the video exists, and Ms. Monahan has said she will not release the video.
“Karen and I were in a long-term relationship which ended in 2016, and I still care deeply for her well-being. This video does not exist because I never behaved in this way, and any characterization otherwise is false,” Mr. Ellison said in his Aug. 12 statement.
The allegation that the physical abuse was caught on video was posted to Facebook recently 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, 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
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
September 28th, 2018