Minneapolis attorney weighs-in on the unsealing of Ellison’s divorce docs

Ellison Attorney: "We will be appealing for a stay against this intrusion into the privacy of their family life.”

Edgar Linares
October 12, 2018 - 5:48 pm

By Edgar Linares

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Hennepin County will make Congressman Keith Ellison and his ex-wife’s sealed divorce documents public next week after a family court ruled Friday that the documents had to be unsealed. 

In September, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and conservative news outlet Alpha News filed a lawsuit demanding the 2012 records be made public. On Friday, a Hennepin County judge ruled the in favor of the news outlets,  ordering that the files be released on Oct. 17. 

Ellison’s attorney, Carla Kjellberg, released a statement to WCCO-Television in response to the ruling.

“Keith and Kim Ellison remain jointly opposed to this effort to exploit the details of their personal life, and the lives of their children, for political gain,” the statement reads. “Ms. Ellison has been clear that there was no abuse by Mr. Ellison before, during, or after their marriage. We will be appealing for a stay against this intrusion into the privacy of their family life.”

Franz Davis, a Minneapolis divorce attorney not connected to the case, told WCCO Radio that the fact that Ellison had his ex-wife had agreed to keep the documents private was an important consideration.

"They jointly asked the court to seal the file. The fact that they jointly decided shows they have the same view of it," he said. 

In August, Ellison's ex-girlfriend, Karen Monahan, accused the Congressman of physical and verbal abuse. Her attorney, Andrew Parker talked with WCCO Radio and said his client has video evidence of the abuse, but has not made the video public. 

It's unclear what the news outlets are searching for in the divorce documents. Davis said in the past he’s seen unsubstantiated claims of abuse brought up in family court and found in court filings.

“In the family court, which is the civil court, people often times make allegations of abuse that haven’t been prosecuted by the county,” Davis said.

Davis said typically in a divorce proceeding two main topics are discussed: finances and child custody.