Minnesota Rep. Omar files for divorce from husband

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Ilhan Omar

FILE – in this Sept. 24, 2019 file photo, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Rep. Omar has filed for divorce from her husband. The freshman Democrat cited an “irretrievable breakdown” of her marriage with Ahmed Hirsi in her filing Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, in Hennepin County District Court. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta File)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar has filed for divorce from her husband, citing an “irretrievable breakdown” of her marriage.

The freshman Democrat filed for divorce from Ahmed Hirsi on Friday in Minnesota’s Hennepin County District Court. Omar and Hirsi have been legally married since 2018 but have been together for years.

The petition, which Omar signed Friday while in Burkina Faso, does not elaborate on what caused the marriage to break down. It comes more than a month after a Washington, D.C., woman accused Omar of having an affair with her husband.

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’s attorney, Jaime Driggs, issued a statement Monday saying: “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.”

Driggs said this has taken a toll on the family, and that Omar wished for privacy and would have no further comment.

When asked specifically whether Omar had an affair, Driggs did not answer but referred back to his statement. Omar’s office said it would only discuss official matters.

The court case does not list an attorney for Hirsi. A working phone number for Hirsi was not immediately available and he did not return emailed requests for comment.

Omar has been dogged by questions about her personal life since she first ran for state representative in 2016, with some conservatives alleging she was married to two men at once and that one of them was her brother — claims she called “disgusting lies.”

The claim that Omar married her brother was repeated by President Donald Trump, who has made Omar a frequent target of attacks on Twitter and in public, including at a rally in which he said Omar and three other Democratic congresswomen of color should “go back” to their home countries. All four women are U.S. citizens, and Omar is the only one who wasn’t born in the U.S.

Aside from a period of separation during which Omar was married to Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, Omar has been with Hirsi for years and she says he is the father of her three children.

Marriage license and divorce records show Omar legally married Hirsi last year after her divorce from Elmi was finalized.

Beth Mynett, the Washington woman who filed for a divorce in August, claimed Omar had an affair with her husband, Tim Mynett, who has worked as a political consultant for Omar.

In his own court papers, Tim Mynett denied his wife’s assertion that he told her he was in love with Omar and that he was ending his marriage for the congresswoman. Mynett and his attorney did not immediately reply to messages left Monday by the AP.

Omar’s divorce petition was first reported by TMZ.

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Follow Amy Forliti on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/amyforliti

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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