Rep. Keith Ellison Denies Allegations of Domestic Violence Against Ex-Girlfriend

August 13, 2018 Updated: September 24, 2018

A Minneapolis congressman is denying accusations of domestic violence made by an ex-girlfriend and her son.

The allegations against Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) first surfaced in an Aug. 11 Facebook post by Austin Monahan, the son of Ellison’s ex-girlfriend Karen Monahan, and come days before an Aug. 14 primary, in which Ellison is running for state attorney general.

Ellison, who is a six-term incumbent from the state’s 5th Congressional District and serves as deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, responded to the accusations following demands from several of his primary opponents.

Karen Monahan told The Epoch Times that throughout the relationship, which spanned “several years,” she saw Ellison “morph” into a different person who repeatedly lied to her and cheated on her with other women. She said she suffered physically from what she called “narcissistic abuse.”

“The pathological lying, cheating, smearing my name, and seeking validation and sympathy from the various females he was preying on, kept getting more and more frequent,” she said in an email on Aug. 13. “By the time the physical abuse occurred, I was dealing with the PTSD full-blown.”

In the lengthy post shared widely online, Austin Monahan accused Ellison of a barrage of misdeeds, including how he had seen “over 100” text and Twitter messages in which the congressman had threatened his mother. Austin Monahan also wrote about viewing an almost two-minute long video that showed Ellison “dragging my mama off the bed by her feet,” while screaming and yelling obscene slurs. The son said he found the files on his mother’s computer in 2017.

“My brother and I watched our mom come out of pure hell after getting out of her relationship with Keith Ellison,” Austin Monahan wrote at the beginning of the post. His claims were also publicly backed by his mother, who is a political organizer.

Ellison denied any claims of abuse, saying in a statement: “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 have never behaved in this way, and any characterization otherwise is false.”

Karen Monahan told The Epoch Times that the incident in the video happened in 2016 when she calmly confronted Ellison over a lie he told her. She said he suddenly flew into a rage that she had never witnessed before and the next morning, after asking her to take the trash out, he dragged her off her bed and forced her to leave. She said she couldn’t move back in until months later.

Minnesota Public Radio News obtained and reviewed the messages exchanged between the two. In their report, they said they found “no evidence” of the alleged physical abuse in texts after their breakup. But a screenshot of one December 2017 text message shows Karen Monahan confronting Ellison about the video (the outlet did not receive the video).

“We never discussed—the video I have of you trying to drag me off the bed,” Karen Monahan wrote to Ellison in the text. The congressman didn’t respond to the message or any others after it.

The congressman’s ex-wife, Kim Ellison, came to his defense on Aug. 12, stating that “the behavior described does not match the character of the Keith I know.”

An online search found no court records of any incidents between the two.

Austin Monahan said he confronted his mother last year upon discovering the files but she “begged” him and his brother not to tell anyone. He told the Star Tribune on Aug. 11 he did not have the video, adding that he had “no reason to tear down” the congressman.

Karen Monahan said she did not want to share her story publicly and had tried to get Ellison into restorative justice (a system that focuses on the rehabilitation of offenders through victims), but he kept rejecting her offers.

Follow Bowen on Twitter: @BowenXiao3