Skip to main content

Ellison family denounces Alpha News, Star Tribune after release of divorce file

The file revealed no allegations of abuse against Keith Ellison, but detailed his ex-wife battle with illness.

Keith Ellison and his ex-wife Kim have criticized two Minnesota media outlets for forcing the release of their divorce file, which went public on Wednesday.

The Star Tribune joined a legal action taken by right-wing news site, Alpha News MN, calling for the unsealing of the file into the Ellisons' 2012 divorce.

The motions were justified as being in the public interest, after Keith Ellison was accused of alleged domestic abuse by his ex-girlfriend, Karen Monahan, as he announced his run for Attorney General in Minnesota.

But the Ellisons had warned the media they wouldn't find allegations of abuse against Keith Ellison in the divorce file, and this was indeed the case when the file was made public.

Instead, the file contained details of Kim Ellison's battle with multiple sclerosis and mental illness, which in turn cause her to be abusive towards her ex-husband.

In a post on Facebook on Wednesday, Kim Ellison, who is a member of the Minneapolis Board of Education, criticized the judge who allowed the records to be unsealed, as well as the media outlets for making the request in the first place.

"I am ashamed that a judge has allowed an alt-right website that is openly working to defeat Keith, and the Star Tribune that followed their lead, to exploit and stigmatize my illness for their own ends.

"My divorce file contains details of the most difficult time in my life, when I was struggling with my diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. I was scared, confused, worried, angry, and became depressed. It is a record of that time that I never thought a court would force me to share with the public."

While most media outlets were restrained in what they reported from the divorce file once it emerged it contained no abuse allegations against Keith Ellison, Alpha News MN's was more extensive in its detail of the breakdown of the Ellisons' marriage and Kim Ellison's battle with MS and depression.

Alpha News responds to criticism

Kim's comments echoed those made by Keith Ellison, who is going against GOPer Doug Wardlow in November's election, who said he was "extremely disappointed" the court released the records at the "request of a far-right propaganda outlet" as well as the Strib.

The couple's son, Isaiah, has also posted on the release of the files, saying that his parents have renounced the statements they made in their divorce decree and since their split he has seen them "grow as co-parents and in many ways, mend their relationship with each other."

He called for an apology and an explanation from the Star Tribune, saying it "supposedly began this case in an effort to corroborate a fanciful and untrue accusation made against my father," but "ended up dragging my entire family through one of the most difficult situations in our lives."

Meanwhile he accused Alpha News of "selectively releasing parts of the decree in an effort to maximize shock value."

In a statement to BMTN, Alpha News editor-in-chief Christine Bauman stood by her outlet's decision to push for the release of the divorce file.

"Alpha News stands by our decision to advocate for the unsealing of Rep. Keith Ellison’s divorce files," she said. "In Minnesota, divorce files are open to the public—that is the rule, not the exception.

"Rep. Keith Ellison has been accused of domestic violence against a former girlfriend. With these allegations in mind, we at Alpha News believed the voting public of Minnesota should know the contents of his sealed divorce proceedings in order to make the most informed choice possible.

"The public deserves transparency from our public officials, and as a news organization we felt it was out duty to help facilitate that."

While divorce files are typically public in Minnesota, judges do have the discretion to seal them for good reason at the request of both involved parties.

The Star Tribune says it has no further comment to make at this time.

For the latest election 2018 stories, follow our Flipboard magazine.

Next Up

covid

Mayo Clinic specialist: 'The omicron surge is not over'

Experts expect a rapid decline over the next month followed a period of calm.

police lights

Charges: Man in stolen Jeep leads police on 110 mph chase

He crashed into a light post near the Capitol and then fled on foot, the complaint says.

kua dog go fund me

Puppy in back of stolen Audi found, reunited with owner

The 4 1/2-month-old bullmastiff had been missing more than a week.

Fuzzy Gerdes Flickr Franks Diner Kenosha

WI's best 'hole-in-the-wall' diner is Guy Fieri-approved

Come for the "garbage pile," stay for ... even more breakfast food.

FKISmwPWUAYZJW6

Minnesota's pre-pro women's soccer team unveils name, logo

The new name and look was unveiled after community owners voted on a winner.

fentanyl DEA

21 people charged in connection to drug trafficking in northern MN

Police say the organization sold more than 10 pounds of heroin and fentanyl in northern Minnesota.

Band Box Diner Courtney Mault Flickr

MN's 'best hole-in-the-wall diner' is, sadly, currently closed

MSN recently published its pick for best diner in each state.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Thursday, January 27

Cases remain very high but hospitalizations have been plateaued for the past week.

state patrol

Minnesota state trooper injured at crash scene on I-35

The trooper was in his squad when another vehicle struck.

money hundred dollar bills

Charges: Man stole thousands from 3 Twin Cities banks

When he was arrested, police found a folding knife on him.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

Here's what Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said in his first press conference

The 40-year-old former Wall Street trader originally wanted to be an economics professor.

Related

2 media outlets submit motions to unseal Keith Ellison's divorce file

Star Tribune and Alpha News are both appealing a court to release the file.

Key points from the release of the Keith Ellison divorce file

The Ellisons tried to block its release, citing privacy concerns.

Judge orders Keith Ellison divorce file be unsealed

Two media outlets applied for the motion.

After Ellison backs marijuana legalization, third party candidate backs him

Noah Johnson will try and direct his supporters to vote for Keith Ellison.

Star Tribune endorses neither candidate in Minnesota AG race

The newspaper says Doug Wardlow and Keith Ellison are too partisan for the office.

Keith Ellison denies allegation he abused ex-girlfriend

A Facebook post by the alleged victim's son identified Ellison on Saturday.