U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar is divorcing her husband.
The Minneapolis Democrat signed the divorce papers on Friday, her 37th birthday, citing an “irretrievable breakdown” of her marriage with Ahmed Hirsi, according to Hennepin County District Court records.
Aside from a period of separation in which Omar married another man — Ahmed Nur Said Elmi — she has been with Hirsi for years and he is the father of her three children.
For more than a year, Omar’s marriages and personal life have been an increasing focus — to varying degrees — by her right-wing opponents, the tabloid media, social media and the mainstream media.
Her lawyer, Minneapolis attorney Jaime Driggs, issued the following statement Monday “on behalf of” Omar:
“Ilhan has filed for divorce from her husband Ahmed. As with all marriages, this is intensely personal and a difficult time for their family. 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. 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.”
The speculation and news has ranged from prurient to watchdoggy, with pointed questions being raised about whether she falsely stated her marital status on tax forms. President Donald Trump, who will hold a rally Thursday at the Target Center in Minneapolis — the heart of Omar’s 5th District — has speculated on the notion that Elmi could be Omar’s own brother. That claim has never been substantiated, but Omar has refused to provide evidence fully debunking it.
Marriage license and divorce records show Omar legally married Hirsi in 2018, after her divorce from Elmi was finalized.
Friday’s divorce filing ends a period of speculation over whether either Omar or Hirsi would file for a divorce after allegations of infidelity against Omar were leveled publicly.Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)More than a month ago, a Washington, D.C., woman in her own divorce filing accused Omar of having an affair with her husband, Tim Mynett. Mynett, who worked as a political consultant for Omar, denied the affair.
When Omar was asked at the time whether she was separated from her husband or dating someone, she told WCCO-TV “No, I am not.” She has since declined to discuss her personal life.
Omar, who emigrated to America as a girl with her family as refugees from war-torn Somalia, signed the divorce papers from the African nation of Burkina Faso. It wasn’t immediately clear Monday why Omar was there. The nation, which is on the other side of the continent from Somalia, has seen refugees created by violence, a matter Omar has often advocated for from a policy standpoint.
In her divorce petition, Omar proposes joint custody of their three children, ages 7, 13, and 16. The 16-year-old, daughter Isra Hirsi, has become a prominent activist in her own right, serving as executive director of national Youth Climate Strike.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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