Ilhan Omar blames media and barrage of political criticism for end of her marriage

‘As with all marriages, this is intensely personal and a difficult time for their family,’ says lawyer

Zamira Rahim
Tuesday 08 October 2019 13:10 BST
Ilhan Omar says it's 'disgusting' that Muslim congress members constantly asked to condemn FGM, Hamas and al-Qaeda

Ilhan Omar has suggested that “speculation and innuendo” from political opponents played a part in ending her marriage.

The Democratic congresswoman filed for divorce from her husband Ahmed Hirsi on Friday, citing an “irretrievable breakdown” of the relationship.

The pair legally married in 2018 but have been together for many years and share three children.

“As with all marriages, this is intensely personal and a difficult time for their family,” said Jaime Driggs, Ms Omar’s lawyer.

“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.”

Mr Driggs added that the Minnesota congresswoman wished for privacy and would have no further comment. The divorce filing comes more than a month after Beth Mynett, a Washington DC resident, claimed in court papers that the politician had an affair with her husband.

Ms Mynett said her husband told her he was in love with the Democrat and that he was ending his marriage for Ms Omar, in divorce papers filed in August 2019.

Tim Mynett has worked as a political consultant for Ms Omar. He denied his wife’s claims. The congresswoman said she was not separated from her husband or dating anyone in August, during an interview with WCCO-TV.

She has since declined to discuss her personal life. The Democrat previously split from Mr Hirsi in 2008 and went on to marry Ahmed Nur Said Elmi the following year, according to The Hill.

Mr Elmi and the politician separated in 2011. Ms Omar reconciled with Mr Hirsi in 2012. She married him after legally divorcing Mr Elmi in 2017.

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The politician has faced a barrage of innuendo from conservative and far-right groups who have insinuated that she was married to two men at once and that one was her brother.

The conspiracy theories are popular in online far-right groups, which have previously targeted Ms Omar.

Donald Trump repeated the allegation about the politician marrying her brother. He has also suggested that the Democrat, along with three other congresswoman of colour, returns to the country she was from.

Ms Omar, who arrived in the US as a child refugee from Somalia, has called the allegations “disgusting lies.”

Additional reporting by agencies

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