Star Tribune, Alpha News file motions to unseal Keith Ellison's divorce file

Star Tribune and Alpha News are both appealing a court to release the file.
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Two media outlets, one of them the Star Tribune, are suing to unseal the divorce file of Rep. Keith Ellison and his ex-wife.

The Star Tribune announced on Tuesday it had filed the motion, following a similar action taken by the Minnesota-based conservative news and opinion website, Alpha News.

The Star Tribune said that in the wake of the allegations of domestic abuse leveled against Ellison by Karen Monahan, and the subsequent support shown for Ellison by his ex-wife, the contents of the file "are a matter of concern to voters" ahead of the Attorney General elections in November.

Divorce files are generally public in Minnesota, though as divorce attorneys Clausen and Hassan LLC point out, a judge can grant a request to seal the file provided both parties agree to it.

On its website, Alpha News editor-in-chief Christine Bauman wrote that she is "gratified" that the Star Tribune has joined their effort, saying that irrespective of political leanings, "The Venn diagram of those interested in transparency has grown substantially today."

"We have no idea if our request will be granted by the court nor if the documents, should they be released, will have any bearing on the abuse allegations lodged against Ellison or relevance to other, broader issues in the race for the office he seeks," she wrote.

The Ellisons respond

Keith and Kim Ellison divorced in 2012 after 25 years of marriage. Ellison was then in a long-term relationship with Monahan, which ended in 2016.

Both Ellisons object to the Star Tribune and Alpha News efforts to unseal the documents, with a joint statement sent out by the Ellison campaign saying they agreed to seal to file initially because their divorce "simply isn't the public's business."

"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," Kim Ellison wrote.

"I am disappointed that the Star Tribune would choose to file this motion.”

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"I have made clear that Keith never abused me in any way before, during, or after our marriage. What these people are seeking simply is not contained in this file," she added.

"However, the details of my private life, and my children’s private lives, are. The privacy they are seeking to exploit is not only Keith’s, it is our entire family’s."

Monahan sent this message via Twitter to Rep. Ellison on Sunday.

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