October 23, 2018 10:29 PM
It is one of the biggest controversies this election cycle in Minnesota. The accusation of domestic abuse made against DFL Attorney General candidate Keith Ellison by his ex-girlfriend and party activist, Karen Monahan.
"I really had to grabble with coming out to share my story,” said Monahan. “I had to face my own fears, the fear of isolation, the smears, the lies, the threats-- that's hard to move through."
Monahan sat down for her first sit-down interview here in Minnesota with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS after she came forward in August with allegations against Ellison.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS asked Ellison on Sunday about the claims at the Attorney General Debate.
"To be clear you deny it?" asked KSTP’s Tom Hauser, one of the debate moderators.
"Absolutely without a doubt," Ellison said.
Hauser's follow up question asked, "You say the video doesn't exist...can you assure voters a video will not surface before Election Day?"
"Absolutely, it can't possibly surface, the behavior described—I didn't engage in," Ellison said.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS reporter Eric Chaloux asked Monahan about Ellison’s denial.
"I'm pretty numb to that, he's denied it, denied it, denied it," Monahan said. “At this point I'm not surprised; he's backed into a corner for sure.”
Monahan told a lawyer hired by the DFL to investigate that the video shows an incident from back in August of 2016.
Monahan told the lawyer she flipped on her camera phone because she wanted to “get his voice on tape.”
The lawyer wrote, “Ms. Monahan claims that Mr. Ellison then grabbed her ankles and tried to pull her off the bed but she resisted…”
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"Him yelling at me, screaming at me, I've already repeated it, several times...trying to drag me off the bed," Monahan told Chaloux. “I wouldn't even re-watch it at this point in time"
Chaloux asked, “Why not to show it to put all these doubts aside?"
"I've had so many survivors say, do not cater into these demands, because we don't have tape. I'm not trying to make it harder for people who have been victimized to come out," Monahan replied.
Chaloux replied, “Is there any chance that videotape comes out?"
"If and when I decided to share that video, it will be in a time that works for me,” Monahan said. “This is my process, my number one responsibility is my own self-care and doing what I feel I can handle."
"You can't discount what Karen Monahan has reported and all the evidence she has,” said Monahan's attorney, Andrew Parker.
During the DFL-hired lawyer’s investigation, Monahan provided medical records, therapy notes and text messages where she mentioned the allegations, along with several friends who heard of the claims.
"She told them about the physical abuse more than a year before it ever came out publicly,” Parker said.
“That the accusing party claims to have but refuses to provide key, dispositive evidence that the accused has flatly denied, causes me to conclude that the allegation is unsubstantiated,” wrote Susan E. Ellingstad, the lawyer hired by the DFL in a report from earlier this fall.
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Monahan says she feels abandoned by some in her party, that’s she’s worked for as an activist and fundraiser, since stepping forward.
“The Me-Too movement goes back and forth, to each party, when it's in one person's hands the other wants to distance themselves," Monahan said.
Monahan said she will not be voting in the AG race for any candidate.
"I'm not looking or expecting any kind of outcome, this isn't about an election for me, this isn't about politics, you're not thinking about an election and neither is your family when you are dealing with something like this," Monahan said.
Updated: October 23, 2018 10:29 PM
Created: October 23, 2018 08:39 PM
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