Karen Monahan on Keith Ellison Allegations: 'This Isn't Going Away'

Illustration for article titled Karen Monahan on Keith Ellison Allegations: 'This Isn't Going Away'
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While Democrats focus on sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Karen Monahan is once again speaking out about abuse she says she experienced in her relationship with Keith Ellison, a congressman from Minnesota and the state’s Democratic candidate for attorney general.


“This is not going away and you are making it worse for you, your family and district by lying, smearing, getting others to do your dirty work, victim shaming, etc,” Monahan tweeted on Sunday. “You know I have the video and more. I am still trying to offer grace and a way out.”

In August, Monahan’s son Austin wrote a Facebook post alleging that he found video of Ellison pulling his mother “off the bed by her feet, screaming and calling her a ‘fucking bitch’ and telling her to get the fuck out of his house.” In mid-September, Monahan released a note on Twitter that she says is an official medical record, writing: “Here is one of my Dr visits stating the abuse that occurred.”

The note, dated November 2017, says that Monahan “states that she was in a very stressful environment for years, emotional and physical abuse” by Ellison. The Minnesota Star-Tribune, which reported on the document last week, received an email from Health Partners stating they were unable to confirm the document’s veracity “because it would violate patient privacy rules.” Neither Monahan or Ellison immediately replied to Jezebel’s request for comment.

Monahan is the second woman to say she was abused by Ellison. The Star-Tribune reports that in 2005, he sought a restraining order against Amy Alexander for harassing phone calls. Alexander then requested a restraining order against Ellison, “writing in an affidavit that they had been in a romantic relationship and that he pushed, shoved and verbally abused her, and had a lawyer intimidate and threaten her.” Alexander’s request was dismissed.


Ellison denied Monahan’s allegations in August. “Karen and I were in a long-term relationship which ended in 2016, and I still care deeply for her well-being,” he said in a statement. “This video does not exist because I never behaved in this way, and any characterization otherwise is false.”

On Sunday, Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono—the Democrat who told men to “shut up, step up, and do the right thing for a change” in response to the Kavanaugh hearings—told CNN that Monahan’s claims should be investigated. “These allegations need to be investigated,” she said, “and appropriate action taken.”

Prachi Gupta is a senior reporter at Jezebel.



Past posts about this have elicited comments that have been extremely depressing to read- overwhelming support for the notion that Monahan is a liar and a narcisist- made even more depressing that these comments were in response to a statement from Ellison’s daughter- who is 1) not privy to the entirety of their relationship; and 2) clearly not an objective observer.

People are complex. People can be politically very liberal, and genuinely so, and abusers in their private lives. People can treat strangers much better than they do their own partners. Everyone here knows this, it shouldn’t have to be said, and yet the reflexive tribal circling continues about this situation.

You don’t have to believe Monahan. But, you shouldn’t decide to disbelieve her because of the public image of Ellison. You shouldn’t decide to disbelieve her because of a shared political party or a political ideology with Ellison. It’s ok to hope it isn’t true because of a genuine fondness for Ellison’s positions, his public persona, or his other actions. But, these are not valid reasons to choose to disbelieve Monahan. I really hope that the comments are different this time here on Jezebel.