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‘I Was a Domestic Abuse Victim’: Accused Domestic Abuser Dem Rep. Keith Ellison’s Divorce Records Unsealed


Minnesota state attorney general candidate and Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison cannot keep divorce records hidden any longer, a judge has ruled, and some of the details of those records are already out there as of Wednesday morning.

Ellison, who divorced Kim Ellison in 2012, has been under intense public scrutiny after he was accused by ex-girlfriend Karen Monahan of domestic abuse. Alpha News and the Star Tribune consequently sought to unseal the Ellisons’ divorce records as a matter of public interest.

Hennepin County Family Court Judge Renee Worke rejected the Ellisons’ effort to block the release of those records, resulting in a preemptive response from Kim Ellison.

She said that there was “never any abuse of any kind in our relationship. So what Alpha News and the Star Tribune are looking for does not exist.” It was also argued that the records needed to stay private because of “sensitive medical and financial information.”

It’s becoming clearer as to why Kim Ellison did not want these records public. According to KMPS, in 2015 Keith Ellison alleged that Kim Ellison “hit [him] too many times to mention” and said the he was “a domestic abuse victim.”

He said he “never hit or assaulted” his ex-wife and claimed to have pictures of “gashes” she caused, once by biting him. This was reportedly filed years after the couple divorced because Kim Ellison sought more money.

Keith Ellison claimed his ex-wife faked two suicides in 2007 “for the purpose of terrorizing me and getting attention.” Kim Ellison was not awarded more money.

Previously, the Star Tribune joined the website Alpha News in a legal battle to find out more about the circumstances in which the Ellisons divorced.

The Star Tribune said that its argument centers on public interest in allegations that he domestically abused his ex-girlfriend, Karen Monahan.

“[T]hat situation and Kim Ellison’s public support of her ex-husband […] are a matter of concern to voters,” the publication argued. “Divorce records are typically public, but judges will often agree to seal them if both parties to the case agree and no one else objects.”

Kim Ellison responded to the news in a statement, saying, “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,” the statement read. “I am disappointed that the Star Tribune would choose to file this motion.”

She has said that her ex-husband “never abused [her] in any way before, during, or after our marriage” and that she is concerned about the impact this will have on their children.

Monahan’s accusations, which Keith Ellison has denied, have been well-documented by Law&Crime.

Austin Monahan, Karen Monahan’s son, said in a post in August that “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.”

Monahan then alleged that in the middle of 2017 he found “over 100 text and twitters [sic] 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,” he added.

Ellison said such a video doesn’t exist.

[Image via Sarah Rice/Getty Images]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.