ST. PAUL-U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison's ex-wife on Tuesday made a public plea for some of the couple's divorce records to remain out of the public view.
Kim Ellison said some of the couple's 2012 divorce file, which is under seal in Hennepin County, contains information about her diagnosis with multiple sclerosis and her depression that followed.
Last week, a court referee ordered the Ellisons' divorce file unsealed after the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and Alpha news, a right-leaning news site, had sought their release. Keith Ellison, who is running for state attorney general, is seeking to keep at least some of the files sealed.
They could become public as soon as Wednesday.
At a news conference Tuesday, Oct. 16, Kim Ellison, flanked by the former couple's three sons, said she's the reason her husband is fighting the release.
"Keith's fighting to keep the records sealed because I want them sealed," she said.
She said she's not opposed to much of the file becoming public - as divorce files presumptively are in Minnesota. But, she said, the potential release of records that relate to her medical diagnosis and mental health struggles afterward would be "painful to me because it's my personal information."
'Never any abuse'
Keith Ellison, who also serves as deputy chair of the national Democratic Party, has been accused of domestic abuse by an ex-girlfriend, an accusation he has denied.
Kim Ellison said there are no records relating to any notions of abuse in the divorce file because "there was never any abuse in our marriage." The couple was married for 25 years.
She has previously defended her ex-husband against the allegation, saying it would be inconsistent with Ellison's character.
Karen Monahan has accused Keith Ellison of dragging her off a bed while screaming profanities at her in 2016 when Monahan was living in Ellison's Minneapolis home.
Kim has never spoken to Karen
Kim Ellison said she's never spoken to Monahan.
When asked by a reporter if there was anything she would say to her ex-husband's accuser, Kim Ellison responded: "No."
The allegation has become a flashpoint in an already hotly contested race. Ellison, a Democrat, is in a tight battle with Republican Doug Wardlow, who has used the allegation against Ellison in a TV ad.
Kim Ellison is a member of the Minneapolis Board of Education, and one of the sons, Jeremiah, is a Minneapolis City Council member.
Kim Ellison said Tuesday she understands that elected officials make "sacrifices" when they take public office, including facing scrutiny and demands for transparency. But she said she doesn't think that transparency should extend to personal medical and mental health records.
In a recent candidate survey on transparency by the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information and the Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, Keith Ellison responded: "Elected officials are public servants who work for the people of Minnesota. By making our government more transparent, citizens and the media can better hold government accountable to ensure it is working for the people it serves."