Something had to give.
As news spread Monday that Rep. Ilhan Omar filed for divorce from her husband, Ahmed Hirsi, on Friday, a lawyer for the radical Democrat from Minnesota issued a statement on her behalf, according to the New York Post.
And even as the filing came after intense speculation about Omar’s marriage — including a highly publicized suspected affair with a married political consultant — the statement implied that the media and Omar’s political opponents were somewhat to blame for the breakup.
“Ilhan and Ahmed have been the object of speculation and innuendo from political opponents and the media,” the statement said.
“This has taken a significant toll on Ilhan, Ahmed, and their three children.
“As with all marriages, this is intensely personal and a difficult time for their family,” the statement added.
“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.”
It’s understandable that a divorcing couple might desire privacy. However, the divorce filing Friday, and the statement Monday, are just the latest twists in a marriage that has played out in the public eye since Omar burst onto the political scene as one of the four radical Democrats who make up what’s known as “the Squad” in the House of Representatives.
BREAKING: Ilhan Omar has officially filed for divorce from her husband Ahmed Hirsi. pic.twitter.com/l3MdsDW4d3
— Mukhtar M. Ibrahim (@mukhtaryare) October 7, 2019
When Omar and Hirsi were reportedly separated in July, details about their long relationship became known, including that they’d first married in an Islamic ceremony in 2002 — when Omar was 19.
They were separated six years later, only to reunite in 2012 and legally marry in 2018.
They have three children.
While they were separated, Omar married another man in 2009, Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, who numerous reports speculate to be her brother. In June, the Minnesota Star Tribune reported allegations that Omar had married her sibling to help him flout U.S. immigration laws and enter the United States.
That marriage split up in 2011, Omar told the Star Tribune, but did not end legally until 2017, a year before she married Hirsi for the second time.
To add to the legal awkwardness, Omar reportedly filed her taxes jointly with Hirsi while she was still legally married to Elmi.
All that marrying, breaking up, marrying a second time (possibly to a sibling to help him dodge immigration law), divorcing and marrying the first guy again (while possibly breaking tax laws in the interim) — while raising children and living a very public life in radical Democratic politics — has to get complicated.
Throw in an alleged extramarital affair that generates headlines — and no doubt a considerable amount of spousal angst — and things can really get tough.
But according to Omar’s attorney’s statement, it’s the “speculation and innuendo from political opponents and the media” that have really taken a “significant toll.”
And something had to give.
“There has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage relationship,” the court documents filed in Minnesota said, according to the New York Post.
Omar’s divorce was first reported Monday by the celebrity news website TMZ.