Family

Somalia Born Rep. Ilhan Omar files for divorce

Freshman Democrat Ilhan Omar cited an “irretrievable breakdown” of her marriage with Ahmed Hirsi, whom, according to marriage license documentation, she married in 2018, in her filing Friday in Hennepin County District Court. Aside from a period of separation in which Omar married another man — Ahmed Nur Said Elmi — Omar and Hirsi had been a couple for years, and he is the father of her three children.

Divorce records show Omar legally married Hirsi after her divorce from Elmi was finalized.

Omar’s filing comes more than a month after a Washington, D.C., woman in her own divorce filing accused Omar of having an affair with her husband. That woman’s husband, who has worked as a political consultant for Omar, denied his wife’s assertion in court papers.

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 Omar wished for privacy and would have no further comment.

When asked specifically whether Omar had had an affair, Driggs did not answer but referred back to his statement. Omar’s office did not return a message seeking comment.

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 one 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.


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