Rep. Ilhan Omar divorcing husband amid heavy public scrutiny, affair allegations

The Minnesota congresswoman has long fought rumors and allegations of an affair with a Washington-based political consultant

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., speaks during the fourth annual Citywide Iftar Dinner in Austin, Texas. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP File)

Rep. Ilhan Omar, who became a rising political star last year among a sweep of new lawmakers in Congress, has filed for divorce from husband Ahmed Hirsi, documents entered in the Hennepin County, Minn., District Court on Friday confirm.

The split comes after months of allegations of an affair between the 37-year-old freshman congresswoman and Washington-based political consultant Tim Mynett.

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According to a statement from her attorney Jaime Driggs, Omar’s marriage has “been the object of speculation and innuendo from political opponents and the media,” and “taken a significant toll” on the family, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

In an August divorce filing in DC Superior Court, Mynett’s estranged wife, Dr. Beth Mynett claimed that he confessed in April to having a secret relationship with the Somali-born congresswoman.

That divorce filing alleged Mynett had been in a months-long relationship with the Minnesota Democrat, citing, “The parties physically separated on or about April 7, 2019, when Defendant told Plaintiff that he was romantically involved with and in love with another woman, Ilhan Omar.”

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“Defendant met Rep. Omar while working for her,’’ the document continues. “Although devastated by the betrayal and deceit that preceded his abrupt declaration, Plaintiff told Defendant that she loved him, and was willing to fight for the marriage.”

“Defendant, however, told her that was not an option for him’’ and moved out the next day, the papers go on to say. “It is clear to Plaintiff that her marriage to Defendant is over and that there is no hope of reconciliation.’’

Not surprisingly, this allegation brought added scrutiny to Omar’s own marriage and she has since been repeatedly faced with probing questions about her romantic history.

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Complicated marriage details

The New York Post reports, that in 2002 Omar and Hirsi were wed in a religious (but otherwise not legal) ceremony, separated in 2008, then legally remarried in 2018. They had two children together, but after they separated the first time, she married another man, Ahmed Nur Said Elmi. However, she later went back to Hirsi, with whom she had a third child.

“There has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage relationship,” the court documents filed in Minnesota explain. Omar has asked the court to grant the estranged couple “joint legal and physical custody” of their three minor children and to determine child support to “serve the minor children’s best interest.” She also wants the court to award the “marital property” as it “may deem just and equitable.”

Omar, a Democrat, is the first Somali-American to serve in the U.S. Congress. She and Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, became the first Muslim-American women to serve as legislators.