Star Tribune sues to unseal Keith Ellison’s divorce records

September 25, 2018

The Star Tribune has joined a legal effort to unseal the divorce records of U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, the Democratic candidate for attorney general.

Ellison and his ex-wife, Kim Ellison, divorced in 2012. The related records have been sealed, so the public cannot access the information.

The Star Tribunes motion to intervene and unseal the records follows a similar action by Alpha News, a right-leaning online news and opinion site.

The efforts follow allegations by Ellisons ex-girlfriend, Karen Monahan, that Ellison domestically abused her in 2016. He has denied the allegation repeatedly, and Monahan has continued to press her case in frequent tweets about Keith Ellison.

On Sunday, Monahan tweeted to Ellison: 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. She referred again to a video she says she has of Ellison dragging her off a bed, which he has said did not happen. Monahan also recently released a medical record that shows she told a doctor in 2017 that she had been in an abusive relationship with Ellison.

The Star Tribune argued that, given the public interest around that situation and Kim Ellisons public support of her ex-husband, the divorce records are a matter of concern to voters.

The Ellison campaign released a statement from Kim Ellison on behalf of both her and Keith Ellison. Our divorce simply isnt the publics 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. I am disappointed that the Star Tribune would choose to file this motion.

Kim Ellison said her ex-husband never abused me in any way before, during, or after our marriage. She said release of the file would exploit their privacy and the privacy of their children.

Carla Kjellberg will be filing a joint opposition on behalf of both Keith and Kim Ellison, according to a notice of the motion filed Monday. Kim Ellison is a member of the Minneapolis Board of Education.

A Hennepin County District Judge will determine whether the divorce file should be made public. A hearing on the Alpha News motion has been scheduled for Oct. 9 and the Star Tribune requested to have its motion heard then as well.

The newspaper has previously pushed to unseal similar records, including those from Princes second divorce.

Jessie Van Berkel 651-925-5044

Update hourly