MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The divorce file of U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison and his former wife, Kim Ellison, was unsealed Wednesday, and a review of the documents showed there are no allegations of abuse against the congressman.
Two media outlets, The Star Tribune and the right-leaning website Alpha News, sued for the divorce file to be unsealed, arguing that it was in the public interest following domestic abuse allegations against the congressman by a former girlfriend.
Ellison is the DFL candidate for Minnesota attorney general. He’s facing Republican Doug Wardlow in the Nov. 6 election.
While no allegations were found in the court documents against the congressman, there was a 2015 filing that said Kim Ellison had repeatedly hit him during their 25-year marriage.
Although the divorce proceedings began in 2010, Keith Ellison didn’t raise his allegation of abuse until 2015. That’s when Kim Ellison was seeking additional spousal maintenance and argued that her ex-husband had failed to provide her health insurance as agreed. Kim Ellison was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis before their divorce.
Keith Ellison argued his ex-wife wasn’t credible, going on to say that Kim Ellison “hit me too many times to mention” during their marriage.
In August, Ellison’s former girlfriend, Karen Monahan, accused him of domestic abuse, saying the congressman pulled her off a bed and screamed at her. Ellison has repeatedly denied the abuse accusation.
On Wednesday, Ellison released a statement:
“I am extremely disappointed that the Court has gone back on its agreement to seal Kim and my divorce file, agreeing to open it at the request of a far-right propaganda outlet with a history of racism and religious bigotry, Alpha News, and the Star Tribune.
“I understand perhaps better than most that as a public official, my personal life falls under higher scrutiny than others. But to pry into the details of a sealed divorce file that the Court previously ordered closed, on the eve of an election, is shameful and outrageous.
“Kim Ellison is a wonderful person. We met in driver’s training as teenagers and raised four beautiful children together, who are now awesome adults. We had a storybook marriage until the onset of her illness, which was not diagnosed until long after she was suffering the effects of it. One of the great regrets of my life is that I did not appreciate the debilitating effects of Kim’s illness until the doctors told us that it was Multiple Sclerosis and major depression. I attribute the difficulties in our marriage to the disease and my failure to understand it. I was not nearly sensitive enough to the symptoms of her medical condition at the time, and for that I am deeply sorry.
“Kim and I have rebuilt a strong friendship as parents to our four wonderful children. I am proud of the person Kim is. We are family, and I stand by her.”
Kim Ellison also shared her disapproval of the Court’s decision, saying “today my privacy and my children’s privacy has been invaded in an extraordinarily public way. I believe anyone can understand how painful this is for us.”