Amy Alexander claims that she was in an on-again, off-again relationship with Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison in the early 1990s and then again in 2004. She has claimed that Ellison abused her, both physically and emotionally, over the course of their relationship. However, Ellison denies that he was ever in any kind of relationship with Alexander. He says he was never involved with her and certainly never abused her.
Alexander is not the first woman to accuse Ellison, the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, of abuse. Karen Monahan, Ellison’s former partner, has also accused him of beating her. Amy Alexander wrote all about her claims about her relationship with Ellison, in an article for a Minnesota newspaper called the Wright County Republican. You can read her original article here.
Here’s what you need to know about Amy Alexander:
1. She Says She and Ellison Started Dating While He Was Still Married to His Wife, Kim
Amy says her “hot and cold” relationship with Keith Ellison started back in 1993, years before Ellison was elected to Congress. At that time, he was working as a community organizer in Minneapolis and was still married to his wife, Kim Ellison. He was 30 years old; Amy was just 20.
Amy wrote that she was “mesmerized” by Keith and that she was flattered by all the attention he payed her. She was also fascinated by the world of activism that he was a part of, and which she wanted to join. She wrote, “He began calling me almost daily. He took me to lunch. He took me to Uhuru Books Saturdayafternoon meetings for black militant empowerment lead by Ellison and Mahmoud El-Kati from Macalester College. I felt like I had really tapped into the inner circle of amovement I was passionate to serve.” It wasn’t long, Amy wrote, before she “succumbed to his romantic advances” and began a relationship which she described as “one of the greatest mistakes of my life.”
Keith Ellison totally denies that he was ever in a relationship with Amy Alexander, and there is apparently no evidence to support her claims.
2. She Says Ellison Constantly Belittled Her & Eventually Attacked Her
Alexander wrote that Ellison was constantly criticizing her and “belittling” her. She said he was very focused on her weight, and that he criticized her every time she gained weight. She also wrote that he “ostracized” her from the community that she was a part of. Finally, Alexander wrote, she felt that she needed to “escape” the relationship. She moved away to New York.
Ten years later, in 2004, Alexander says she came back to Minnesota to organize for Nader and ran into Ellison again. The two rekindled their relationship, she says, but the relationship ended again. Then, she says, in 2005, Ellison attacked her. She wrote, “In May, Keith wanted to try and quiet me so he came to my home uninvited. We had words. His anger kicked in. He berated me. Hegrabbed me and pushed me out of the way. I was terrified.I called the police. As he fled he broke my screen door. I have never been so scared.”
Again, Ellison completely denies that he and Alexander were in a relationship and that he ever entered her home, much less grabbed her and broke her screen door.
3. In 2005, Ellison Got a Restraining Order Against Amy Alexander
In 2005, Ellison told a court that Amy Alexander had been harassing him over the phone, and stalking him in person. He took her to court and eventually got a restraining order on her.
Hennepin County Judge Robert Lynn also ordered Alexander to stop spreading allegations that she had an extramarital affair with Ellison, or that he was abusive towards her.
Ellison eventually agreed to lift the restraining order against Alexander — but only on condition that she didn’t approach him again. He reserved the right to come back to court and have the restraining order reinstated if she approached him again.
4. Alexander Tried and Failed to Get a Restraining Order Against Ellison
In 2005, Amy Alexander tried to get a restraining order issued against Keith Ellison. She claimed that she and Ellison had had an extramarital affair and that he had been emotionally abusive; she also said that at the end of their affair, he had turned violent, shoving her, and breaking the screen door of her home.
However, Hennepin County Judge Robert Lynn denied Alexander’s request for a restraining order. He also told her that she could not come back to court again to seek a restraining order against Ellison.
5. Some Conservatives Say Democrats Have Been Ignoring the Allegations Against Ellison, Even While They Focus on the Kavanaugh Allegations
Conservative commentators have sometimes called Democrats hypocritical for not reacting more strongly to the allegations against Keith Ellison. More recently, Ellison’s ex-girlfriend, Karen Monahan, accused him of abusing her both emotionally and physically. Democrats say they haven’t been ignoring the case but have been studying it. Some of Ellison’s supporters also said that the allegations against him were politically motivated, since, in both cases, Ellison’s accusers came forward shortly before an election.
But some commentators have said that the case reveals a double standard. Donald Trump Jr. has weighed in on this issue, in a recent tweet:
And in a recent piece in the Washington Examiner, for example, Becket Adams slammed Hawaii’s senator Mazie Hirono for her attacks on Kavanaugh. He wrote,
“Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, has covered herself in shame these last couple of weeks. Her desire to see Brett Kavanaugh’s chances of replacing Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy destroyed by any means necessary has been a sickening display of petty, short-sighted partisan zealotry. But there is one unintentionally humorous moment in the parade of awful that has vomited forth from the senator’s office: The moment this week when she attacked the GOP for supposedly behaving like … Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn.?”
You can read the full article here.