Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.) denied abuse allegations on Sunday in response to a viral Facebook post alleging the congressman abused a woman in a past relationship.
The Facebook post alleged Ellison was abusive to his ex-girlfriend Karen Monahan. It alleged Ellison dragged Monahan off the bed, shouting expletives at her, and that he sent numerous abusive text messages to her. The Facebook post first appeared on Saturday night and was posted by Monahan's son, Austin Aslim Monahan.
Monahan's son wrote:
My brother and I watched our mom come out of pure hell after getting out of her relationship with Keith Ellison. For several months we knew something wasn’t right and couldn’t figure it out. When we asked our mom if everything was ok, she told us she was dealing with some stress and would be ok.
In the middle of 2017, I was using my moms computer trying to download something and I clicked on a file, I found over 100 text and twitters messages and video almost 2 min long that showed Keith Ellison dragging my mama off the bed by her feet, screaming and calling her a "fucking bitch" and telling her to get the fuck out of his house. The messages I found, were mixed with him consistently telling my mom he wanted her back, he missed her, he knew he fucked up and we wished he could do things different, he would victim shaming, bully her, and threaten her if she went public.
Ellison released a statement on Sunday, denying the allegations.
"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 have never behaved in this way, and any characterization otherwise is false."
Monahan responded to her son's post to say she agreed with the account.
"What my son said is true. Every statement he made was true.@keithellison, you know you did that to me," Monahan said.
What my son said is true. Every statement he made was true.@keithellison, you know you did that to me. I have given every opportunity to get help and heal. Even now, u r willing to say my son is lying and have me continue to leak more text and info just so others will believe him
— Karen Monahan (@KarenMonahan01) August 12, 2018
Monahan provide Minnesota Public Radio with numerous text and Twitter messages sent between her and Ellison. The messages were sent after the couple broke up and were about arranging when Monahan would remove her things from Ellison's home. MPR described some of the messages as friendly and others as combative.
The congressman's ex-wife came to his defense in a statement to reporters on Sunday.
"We may be divorced, but we are still a family," she wrote. "I want members of our community to know that the behavior described does not match the character of the Keith I know."
Ellison, who is also the Democratic National Committee deputy chairman, is running for Minnesota attorney general. State Rep. Debra Hilstrom (DFL.), a fellow candidate running for the Democratic nomination, called on Ellison to answer the allegations. The primary is on Tuesday, Aug. 14.