Controversial political commentator Tomi Lahren had a drink thrown at her while she was at brunch with her mother, Trudy Lahren, in Minneapolis this weekend. Lahren and her mother were walking past a table when the drink was tossed at her by a recent University of Minnesota graduate, Jasmine Kohler.
Lahren has received support from many on social media after the incident, including President Donald Trump, who tweeted Wednesday morning, “Everybody is with Tomi Lahren, a truly outstanding and respected young woman!” On the other end of the spectrum, comedian Kathy Griffin tweeted, “I couldn’t disagree more with @TomiLahren, but I don’t think it’s cool to resort to physical actions to make your point. The first amendment is a beautiful thing – use it.”
Tomi Lahren, a Fox News contributor, appeared on the network’s “Fox and Friends” morning show on Wednesday and talked about the incident, which was caught on video. Lahren, 25, said she has received similar treatment in the past and is used to it, but still called it disheartening. Lahren was with her mother, Trudy, 56, of South Dakota. Her mother has been her biggest supporter during Tomi’s rise through the conservative media world, and Tomi has often praised her for helping her get where she is.
Here’s what you need to know about Trudy Lahren, Tomi Lahren’s mother:
1. Trudy Lahren Confronted the Hip Hop Brunch Patrons & Tried to Take the Empty Glass From the Woman Who Threw the Drink at Her Daughter, Witnesses Say
Tomi Lahren was at a hip hop-themed brunch Sunday morning, May 20, at the Union Restaurant in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, along with her mother, Trudy Lahren, and her father, Kevin Lahren after Tomi’s “Family, Freedom and Final Thoughts” show at the Pantages Theatre, the night before, according to WCCO-TV. Lahren was walking out with her mother when the drink was thrown at her. She and her mother were both splashed by it.
“Unfortunately, there was a group of people, probably around my age, who thought it would be funny to throw water at me and start chanting profanity,” Lahren said on “Fox and Friends” Wednesday morning, after video of the incident went viral. “Not something that I’m not used to, but very disheartening.”
She added, “You don’t have to like me. You don’t have to like my political opinions, but you don’t have the right to throw things at me. Is that the point we’ve got (to) in this country that you can’t disagree with someone civilly without resorting to to that. It’s really disheartening, but again I’m tough, I can handle it. But there might be people out there who don’t have as thick of skin and those are the people I worry about.”
According to The Blast, Tomi Lahren’s mother, Trudy Lahren, got into a “heated argument” with the group of women who threw the water at them. Witnesses told the site that Trudy Lahren tried to grab the empty glass from the woman who threw the water, but the woman avoided her and began yelling, “F*ck Tomi” at Trudy.
Jeremy Jackson, a restaurant employee, told The Blast, “I said [to Tomi] ‘I’d like to separate you all if can please –’ and she responded, ‘You’re just going to kick me out for them throwing water? Unbelievable.'” Jackson said he told Tomi that she was not being kicked out, but he just wanted to separate them, but she stormed off anyway. The woman who threw the drink was then escorted out, Jackson said.
Another video shows the confrontation that occurred after the drink was thrown. You can watch the video below, but it contains vulgar language:
“It was thrown at me and then of course it got my mom wet as well,” Lahren told “Fox and Friends.” She added, “Again this was something that was embarrassing for me and for my family too. At the end of the day I’m a person too and I do get humiliated and embarrassed just like anyone else, but I’m tough, my family’s tough, we can handle it. I think those that threw the water and were applauding and laughing about it, wanted to get their 15 minutes of fame by making a video of me, I think looking back those are the people who are going to be embarrassed by their actions. I think their parents raised them better.”
Lahren said about the support she has received on social media, “That is the silver lining in this whole thing, and there are people who normally detest me and they are coming to my defense at least on this incident. So maybe moving forward, those people who thought it was fun to throw water at me or to antagonize others with my viewpoints, maybe they’ll see that’s not the cool thing to do, because if Kathy Griffin of all people is sticking up for you and defending you, hey, I’ll take it.”
2. Trudy Lahren Lives in South Dakota & Has Been Married to Tomi’s Dad, Kevin Lahren, for More Than 36 Years
Tomi Lahren’s mom, Trudy Lahren, currently lives in Rapid City, South Dakota, where Tomi Lahren was born, according to the Dallas Morning News. Tomi Lahren told the newspaper she was raised by two “average, hardworking American” parents and she was an only child.
According to a wedding announcement in The Bismarck Tribune, Trudy Dietrich and Kevin Lahren were married June 12, 1981, at Trinity Lutheran Church in McLaughlin, South Dakota with the Reverend John Orwig officiating. “Following a trip to Yellowstone National Park and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the couple is at home in Bismarck,” the announcement read.
Tomi Lahren is Trudy and Kevin Lahren’s only child. In June 2017, on their anniversary, she wrote on Instagram, “Happy Anniversary to my wonderful parents. After 36 years together, still going strong. I couldn’t do what I do without you guys. When people ask me who inspires me, who I look to as role models, I look to you. Success, fame and money are great but they are nothing without love and family. Thank you God for blessing me with this united support system.”
Kevin Lahren told Politico in 2017 that his daughter was a happy child and was studious, “I don’t think we even once had to ask her to do her homework.” According to Politico, both Kevin and Trudy Lahren are Republicans, but not particularly active ones.
3. Trudy Lahren Grew Up on a Ranch in South Dakota as One of 3 Children
Trudy Dietrich Lahren grew up on a ranch northeast of McLaughlin, South Dakota, as one of three children of Wayne and Janet Eby Dietrich, according to Wayne Dietrich’s 2011 obituary.
According to Politico, both of Tomi’s parents “grew up on working ranches and had hoped to keep working in those family-run businesses for their entire lives. But they had to find other work because of the kind of economic dislocation that Trump railed against on the campaign trail: consolidation in the meatpacking industry; the rise of megameat buyers, like Wal-Mart, with the power to push cattle prices lower; increased global competition.”
Tomi Lahren told Politico her parents deserve credit for, “really giving me an appreciation for the values of hard-working, everyday Americans.”
Tomi Lahren was also born and raised in South Dakota, in Rapid City, where she attended Rapid City Central High School, graduating in 2010, according to the Rapid City Journal. Lahren credited her family with giving her a work ethic that led her to a TV hosting gig at 22.
“They’ve believed in me and they’ve always been supportive,” she told the Rapid City Journal in 2014. She said family dinners centered around topics on “ABC Nightly News.”
Tomi Lahren told the newspaper, “I can not tell you how many times I would pause the show to give my two cents. You name it, we talked about it.”
4. She Has Worked as a Bank Loan Administrator & as the Manager of a Jewelry Store
Trudy Lahren, 56, works as a bank loan administrator at First National Bank in Rapid City, South Dakota, according to her Linkedin profile and the Dallas Morning News.
In the 1980s, Trudy Lahren worked as a legal secretary at Lynn, Jackson, Schultz & Lebrun, a Rapid City law firm, and was elected as the governor of the Pennington County Legal Secretaries Association in 1988, according to a brief in the Rapid City Journal. Her Linkedin profile shows she worked at the law firm as a paralegal from 1985 to 1997.
Lahren has also worked as the manager of the now-closed Black Hills Gold by Coleman store in Rapid City, according to a 2012 article in the Rapid City Journal. She was helping the store through a redesign at the time, telling the newspaper, “It’s going to be more appealing to women. It’s going to be a more inviting feeling.”
Her husband, Kevin Lahren, works as a maintenance manager at Target, according to the Dallas Morning News. A news article from the Rapid City Journal in 1987 shows he previously worked at Merillat Industries, Inc., a kitchen and bathroom cabinet manufacturer.
5. Tomi Lahren Says Her Mom Has ‘Inspired Me More Than She Could Ever Know’
Tomi Lahren has written multiple tributes to her mom on Mother’s Day and on International Women’s Day on social media over her years in the conservative media spotlight, crediting her with helping her get where she is and for being a role model while she was growing up.
“On International Women’s Day I pay tribute to the woman who has inspired me more than she could ever know. My mom has worked her ass of her entire life,” she wrote on Instagram on March 8, 2018. “She doesn’t complain, doesn’t ask for much, would do anything for everyone else and has no idea how much she has done for me. She gets up, shows up, and has always taught me to speak up, stand up and never give up. Mom, the world could use more of you.”
On International Women’s Day in 2017, she took to Twitter, writing, “On #internationalwomensday I salute women like my mom who went to work everyday because “protesting” doesn’t pay the bills.” That tweet received 12,000 likes, but also hundreds of negative replies.
Actor Harry Cook wrote, “If there weren’t women protesting years before your privileged existence, you still wouldn’t have the vote or a job on TV. Educate yourself.”
On Mother’s Day in 2017, Lahren wrote on Instagram, “Mom, you’ve sacrificed a lot so I could pursue my passion. Your kind heart and selflessness inspires me everyday. Thank you and Happy Mother’s Day. I wouldn’t have the courage to be this fearless without you. I wouldn’t have the strength to stand up for myself if not for your example.”
In a 2017 profile in the Dallas Morning News, Lahren’s parents said they have been brought into the spotlight by their daughter’s career. The newspaper wrote, “‘She’s not just a talking head — this is what she believes,’ says her dad, Kevin Lahren, who works as a maintenance manager for Target. Her mom, Trudy Lahren, works as a bank loan administrator. Now, they both get asked by people at work, at the grocery store, at the dentist’s office: Are you related to Tomi Lahren? They gets phone calls from around the country congratulating them on raising her.”