This story comes to you from Sahan Journal, a nonprofit newsroom dedicated to providing authentic news reporting about Minnesota's new immigrants and refugees. MPR News is a partner with Sahan Journal and will be sharing stories between SahanJournal.com and MPRNews.org.
Updated: 11:35 a.m.
Minnesota DFL U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar has filed for divorce from her husband, Ahmed Hirsi.
Omar officially filed for divorce on Friday — her birthday — in Hennepin County District Court. The couple has three children together, ages 7, 13 and 16.
The divorce filing cites an “irretrievable breakdown” of their marriage relationship.
Omar has said she and Hirsi were married to each other other religiously for nearly two decades. They legally married on Jan. 5, 2018.
“As with all marriages, this is intensely personal and a difficult time for their family,” Jaime Driggs, Omar’s attorney, said in a statement Monday confirming the divorce filing.
“For years, Ilhan and Ahmed have been the object of speculation and innuendo from political opponents and the media. This has taken a significant toll on Ilhan, Ahmed, and their three children,” Driggs said. “Just like any other family navigating this kind of transition, Ilhan wishes to have their privacy respected for themselves and their children and will not be commenting any further.”
Omar’s personal life has come under scrutiny the past few years with conservative critics accusing her of improperly filing joint tax returns when she wasn’t legally married and claiming that Omar improperly wed her brother at one point as part of an immigration scheme. Omar has called that allegation false.
In August, Beth Mynett, a Washington, D.C., doctor said in a divorce filing that her husband Timothy Mynett had left her for Omar. Timothy Mynett is a nationally known political consultant who has worked for Omar’s campaign and been paid tens of thousands of dollars.
Omar has denied the allegation. Asked in a late August interview with WCCO if she was separated from her husband and dating someone, Omar replied, “No, I’m not.”
In a subsequent interview with MPR News, Omar said she would stop responding to questions about her personal life and marriage.
“It doesn’t matter how often I deny it and what I do, people will still ask for more or insinuate more things,” she said. “And so I have made a decision not to give it any more air and have it stay in the garbage where it belongs and continue to focus on representing the beautiful district that I represent, giving back to the country that has given me so much.”
This is a breaking news story. More reporting to come. Check back at Sahan Journal and MPR News for updates.