This weekend, the Democratic National Committee co-chair and current candidate for Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison was accused of domestic violence and abuse by the son of his ex-girlfriend, Karen Monahan. In a Facebook post, Monahan’s son, 25-year-old Austin Aslim Monahan, described seeing videos of Ellison physically abusing his mother, along with screenshots of text messages and other communications. Karen Monahan then tweeted that her son’s allegations were accurate.
Today, Ellison responded to the allegations, denying the abuse. “Karen and I were in a long-term relationship which ended in 2016, and I still care deeply for her well-being,” Ellison said in a statement. “This video does not exist because I never behaved in this way, and any characterization otherwise is false.”
Reporter David Weigal tweeted that the story had been “circulating in [Minnesota]” but had “not held up to media scrutiny.” He pointed to a previous report by MPR News.
Karen Monahan also tweeted several screenshots of conversations that appear to be with Ellison, though none of them were particularly incriminating. Several of the screenshots only showed messages from Monahan.
These aren’t the first allegations against Ellison, according to Vox:
In 2006, a woman named Amy Alexandar claimed that Ellison ostracized her and smeared her name after having an extramarital affair with her in the 1990s and then again in the 2000s. Ellison in 2005 filed a restraining order against her after what he described as phone and email harassment. She subsequently tried to get a restraining order against him, which a judge denied, ordering her to stop repeating allegations of an affair or intimidation. Ellison subsequently agreed to dismiss his restraining order against her if she no longer contacted him.
Ellison is far from the first prominent progressive to be accused of abuse. Earlier this year, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was accused by four women of physical abuse, leading to his resignation. Last year, former Senator Al Franken resigned after eight women accused him of groping or forcibly kissing them.
The DNC has not yet commented on the allegations. The Minnesota primary election for Attorney General is on Tuesday.