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Keith Ellison's domestic abuse accuser speaks out on camera for the first time

Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) has denied the allegations of domestic abuse in 2016 made by his former girlfriend Karen Monahan. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The ex-girlfriend of U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) spoke out on camera for the first time Thursday about her accusations of domestic abuse against the congressman.

Ellison, 55, who is the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee, won the Democratic nomination for Minnesota attorney general on Tuesday.

Karen Monahan, 44, an environmental activist, told CBS News that Ellison called her names and dragged her by her feet off of a bed at his home during an argument nearly two years ago.

The accusations surfaced over the weekend in a Facebook post by Monahan's adult son, just days before Ellison's Democratic primary win for the attorney general nomination. The Facebook post is no longer available.

Ellison has insisted the allegations are false.

What did Monahan say?

Monahan told CBS that she was lying on the bed on her stomach listening to a podcast when Ellison walked into the bedroom.

"I need you to take out the trash," Ellison allegedly told Monahan.

"I heard him and I went like that," she said nodding. "And he looked at me, goes, 'Hey, you f***ing hear me?' And then he looked at me, he goes, 'B***h, get the f*** out of my house,' and he started trying to drag me off the bed," Monahan said. "That's when I put my camera on to video him."

Monahan said that she told a friend about the incident but that she never reported it to the police. She added that it was the only time Ellison abused her.

The couple's three-year relationship ended in 2016.

Why is she coming forward now?

“I followed my gut, the gut that I kept trying to push down for a year and a half," Monahan told CBS when asked why she's telling her story now.

Where is the video?

On Saturday, Monahan told CNN that she had misplaced the video. Then on Monday, she told news outlet that the video was in storage and she couldn't immediately find it.

On Thursday, Monahan told CBS News that she could find the video if she wanted but added that she has no plans to release it.

How did the accusations come to light?

Austin Monahan, Karen Monahan's adult son, wrote a lengthy Facebook post on Saturday about the incident that allegedly occurred in September 2016.

“In the middle of 2017,” Austin wrote, “I was using my moms computer trying to download something and I clicked on a file, I found over 100 text and twitters messages and video almost 2 min long that showed Keith Ellison dragging my mama off the bed by her feet, screaming and calling her a ‘f***ing bitch’ and telling her to get the f*** out of his house.”

Karen Monahan tweeted that the accusations her son wrote about were true.

“What my son said is true,” she tweeted. “Every statement he made was true.”

What did Ellison say?

In an interview with WCCO-TV, Ellison said he never physically or emotionally abused Monahan.

“I know I can’t just run past this controversy and not address it, which is why I’m here with you today,” Ellison told the news outlet.

Ellison said Monahan couldn't possibly have a video because the incident didn't happen.

On Sunday, he issued a statement denying the allegations.

“This video does not exist because I never behaved in this way, and any characterization otherwise is false,” Ellison wrote, adding that he deeply cares for Monahan's well-being.

What else?

Kim Ellison came to her ex-husband's defense in an email to reporters.

“We may be divorced, but we are still a family,” she wrote. “I want members of our community to know that the behavior described does not match the character of the Keith I know.”

One last thing…
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