A Minnesota congressman running to be the state’s next attorney general is facing increasingly specific allegations of abuse by a former girlfriend.
In an interview Thursday with CBS News, 44-year-old Karen Monahan expounded on allegations her son posted on social media after he said he found video evidence of her encounter with Democratic U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison.
According to her 25-year-old son Austin’s online account, the video lasts for about two minutes and shows the man drag her off the bed before demanding she leave the residence.
Though she said the incident in September 2016 was Ellison’s only act of violence against her, it was enough for her to exit the relationship and hold on to what she says is evidence.
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) August 16, 2018
“I was still in bed and I was laying across the bed on my stomach,” she said. “I was listening to my podcast and he walked in, he said, ‘I need you to take the trash out.'”
Monahan said she acknowledged the request by nodding her head, but it was not enough for her then-boyfriend, who became aggressive.
“And he looked at me, goes, ‘Hey, you f—ing hear me?'” she said. “And then he looked at me, he goes, ‘B—-, get the f— out of my house,’ and he started to try to drag me off the bed. That’s when I put my camera on to video him.”
From there, she said she left and started looking for a safe place to stay.
“I called a friend and I said, ‘I’m at the lowest of the low,'” Monahan said.
A series of text messages between the two has also been confirmed by news outlets, including one exchange in which Monahan suggests she plans to write about the incident in an upcoming book.
“Horrible attack on my privacy, unreal,” he wrote in one response.
Ellison, who serves as the Democratic National Committee’s deputy chairman, denied any such abuse took place.
Monahan said he confronted her at a coffee shop the day before he announced his campaign for attorney general.
“The conversation went straight to, ‘Hey, you know, I noticed that you’ve been tweeting a lot about abuse and the #MeToo and over months talking about your own personal stuff about you, and I’m just wondering, are you going to keep tweeting about this?’ … He goes, ‘I don’t want to have to look over my shoulder all the time wondering when you’re going to tweet something and say it’s me.'”
She said she “looked straight at him. I said, ‘I never ruined your career. I didn’t choose to do the things you did. I didn’t choose for you to drag me off the bed, call me a ‘b—-,’ tell me you hate me. I didn’t choose that.'”
Monahan said she does not want to release the video evidence, expressing hope that her word will be all the proof needed to back up her allegations. She said she still has the footage saved to a thumb drive in her possession.
She said her “gut” led her to shine a light on the abuse she says took place almost two years ago.
“I followed my gut,” Monahan said. “The gut that I kept trying to push down.”
Following an initial statement when the allegations first began to surface, the congressman told reporters he was “mortified” and “absolutely stunned that she would say this” about him.
Asked specifically if he ever dragged his ex-girlfriend as she described, he replied, ‘No, absolutely no.”
As for her alleged possession of a potentially damning footage, Ellison said there “couldn’t be such a thing” depicting behavior he said never occurred.
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