Rep. Keith Ellison, 55, is now denying allegations that he abused his ex-girlfriend, confronting the accusations just days before Minnesota’s primary where he's running as a Democratic candidate for attorney general.
His former girlfriend, Karen Monahan, and her 25-year-old son, Austin Monahan, have accused the DNC deputy chair and current Minnesota congressman of domestic abuse just days before the primary vote, saying they have video proof that Ellison abused Monahan. But Ellison says her story isn’t true.
"Karen and I were in a long-term relationship which ended in 2016, and I still care deeply for her well-being," Mr. Ellison said in a statement Sunday. "This video does not exist because I have never behaved in this way, and any characterisation otherwise is false."
Ellison has served as congressman for Minnesota's 5th District for six full terms and, according to NPR, was rumored to be the frontrunner in the Democratic primary for attorney general.
His opponent, state Rep. Debra Hilstrom, circulated a Facebook post that called for Ellison to address his ex-girlfriend's accusation. Other Democratic candidates Matt Pelikan and Tom Foley later joined in on the call to action as well.
Other than Monahan's accusation, no evidence of the alleged abuse has been reported to the police or major news outlets. MPR News reported that Monahan's son, Austin, confronted Ellison via text after he discovered the approximately two-minute video on his mother’s laptop, reportedly telling the congressman, "I know what you did to my mamma."
Karen Monahan is an organizer with the Sierra Club, a far-left environmental group, and has been active in the #MeToo movement. However, it wasn’t until recently where she actually mentioned her accused assaulter by name.
"He knew I was ready to share my story. I told them to brace themselves because I would be smeared," she added. "I took down my Facebook about two days ago, because I didn't want them seeing nasty messages sent to me."
More than 100,000 early vote ballots have already been cast in the primary, which will take place next Tuesday.
(Cover Photo: Lorie Shaull)