Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), who has previously come under fire for his past associations with Louis Farrakhan, is now facing allegations of abuse.
The allegation first came to light from Austin Monahan, the son of Karen Monahan, Ellison’s ex-girlfriend and an organizer for the Sierra Club. Austin wrote on Facebook that he and his brother “knew that something wasn’t right” with their mother after she and Ellison ended a lengthy relationship. Their mother insisted she was fine and was merely stressed.
But Austin claims he found a video on his mother’s computer that shows Ellison “dragging my mama off the bed by her feet, screaming calling her a ‘f*cking b*tch.’” Subsequent texts from Ellison to his mother “were mixed with him telling my mom he wanted her back, he missed her, he knew he f*cked up and we wished he could do things different” while other times he would “bully her and threaten her if she went public.”
Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) reviewed text messages between Karen Monahan and Ellison; while none of them showed any abuse from Ellison, Monahan did send him a text in December 2017 about “the video I have of you trying to drag me off the bed,” which Ellison never responded to. Monahan also texted Ellison about her writing about their relationship, prompting Ellison to respond, “Horrible attack on my privacy, unreal.”
CNN was able to find three friends of Monahan who claim she told them about he alleged incident. However, Monahan told CNN that she couldn’t find the video of the alleged incident; she also told MPR that she wouldn’t the release the video at all.
“It sets the expectation for survivors of all kinds of forms of abuse, whether it be abuse toward women, abuse from police officers, abuse from other people in power, to have to be the ones, like I’m doing right now, to show and prove their stories,” Monahan said. “It’s feeding into that.”
Ellison has denied Monahan’s allegation.
“Karen and I were in a long-term relationship which ended in 2016, and I still care deeply for her well-being,” Ellison said. “This video does not exist because I never behaved in this way, and any characterization otherwise is false.”
Ellison’s ex-wife, Kim Ellison, is defending Ellison.
“I want members of our community to know that the behavior described does not match the character of the Keith I know,” Kim wrote in an emailed statement to reporters.
But Karen Monahan isn’t the only former girlfriend of Ellison’s to have alleged abuse. Amy L. Alexander, who said she a “hot and cold romance” with Ellison while he was married, wrote in The Wright County Republican in 2006 that Ellison “belittled me about my weight and constantly criticized my every word and action.”
A couple years later, Alexander thought she and Ellison had smoothed things over when Ellison refused to give her a job at an environmental activist group, calling her a “b*tch” and lamenting that he couldn’t “control you anymore.”
One day, Ellison allegedly stormed into Alexander’s house in order to “quiet” her.
“He berated me,” Alexander wrote. “He grabbed me and pushed me out of the way. I was terrified. I called the police. As he fled he broke my screen door. I have never been so scared.”
Ellison proceeded to launch “a smear campaign” against her, Alexander alleged, even going as far as obtaining a restraining order against her.