WASHINGTON — A Washington, D.C., physician alleged in divorce filings Tuesday that her husband, a national political consultant, left her after becoming romantically involved with U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, a client of his fundraising business.
In an interview, Omar denied that she is separated or dating outside her marriage.
"I have no interest in really allowing the conversation about my personal life to continue," she told WCCO-TV, cutting off further inquiry.
Omar avoided questions at a Tuesday night forum in Minneapolis and a spokesman declined a Star Tribune request for comment.
The freshman Democratic congresswoman has been legally married since last year to her longtime romantic companion, Ahmed Hirsi, the father of her three children in Minneapolis.
It's the latest in a string of controversies facing the former one-term state legislator, who catapulted to national political fame after her groundbreaking 2018 election.
Omar's office told the Star Tribune in June that she has faced many false accusations about her personal life — including the claim that she once married her brother — and that continuing to answer them was "not only demeaning to Ilhan, but to her entire family."
The Somali-born congresswoman has emerged as a controversial figure in her first term in Congress because of her feud with President Donald Trump and her outspoken criticism of the Israeli government's treatment of Palestinians. Several of her statements and group associations have brought accusations of anti-Semitism, a charge she denies.
But the divorce, first disclosed by the New York Post, is likely to open Omar to renewed scrutiny about her personal and marital life, already the subject of intense interest in the tabloid press from New York to London.
The couple have been separated since the alleged relationship came to light around April 7, according to a family court petition filed in D.C. Superior Court. Dr. Beth Mynett said her husband, Omar consultant Tim Mynett, confessed to her that he was "romantically involved with and in love with another woman, Ilhan Omar, a U.S. Representative from Minnesota."
London's Daily Mail recently posted photographs of Omar and Tim Mynett dining in a Los Angeles restaurant in March a day after she made much-criticized remarks at a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) banquet characterizing the 9/11 terrorist attacks as "some people did something." Critics, including Trump, accused her of minimizing the attacks; Omar and her allies argued that she was making the point that all Muslims had been branded by the acts of a few.
The episode preceded the Mynetts' separation by two weeks. Beth Mynett said in her divorce filing that although she was "devastated by the betrayal and deceit" that preceded her husband's declaration of love for Omar, she remained willing to fight for their marriage.
"(Tim Mynett), however, told her that was not an option for him," her lawyers wrote.
Neither Tim Mynett, 38, nor Beth Mynett, 55, or her lawyers responded to requests for comment.
The allegations of an extramarital affair follow the disclosure earlier this year that Omar had improperly filed tax returns in 2014 and 2015 with Hirsi while at the time legally married to but separated from another man. The episode renewed claims long promoted by conservative media bloggers that her previous marriage — allegedly to her brother — was part of an immigration scheme.
She has said previously that she has been involved with Hirsi, whom she called the "love of my life," since 2002, though they were not legally married until 2018, shortly before she was elected to Congress.
Omar has vehemently denied she was married to her brother, calling the allegation "false and ridiculous."
Among those who picked up on the accusation was Trump, who has been in a summerlong spat with Omar and three other Democratic House members known as the "Squad."
"There's a lot of talk about the fact that she was married to her brother," Trump said to reporters at the White House in July. "I know nothing about it. I hear she was married to her brother. You're asking me a question about it. I don't know, but I'm sure that somebody would be looking at that."
Tim Mynett, who has become one of Omar's closest aides, is a longtime political operative who has worked for several current and past congressional Democrats.
Omar's campaign paid Mynett's firm, E Street Group, nearly $160,000 over the first six months of the year, according to federal campaign finance records. The company also did work to get her elected to Congress in 2018.
In declining comment, Omar's office referred reporters to Will Hailer, Mynett's partner at E Street Group, who released a statement saying the firm "does not comment on the personal life of either our staff or clients."
Hailer, a onetime top aide to former U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, noted that in 2018 the firm played a part in helping Omar win a multicandidate Democratic primary, in which she received almost 50% of the vote before garnering the highest total votes for a nonincumbent in the general election. He said the firm helped raise more than $2.3 million this year for Omar's reelection campaign "as she fights for — and organizes for — her constituents around a shared progressive bold agenda."
It remains unclear whether any of the lingering questions surrounding Omar's personal life could become a political liability. Hamline University political scientist David Schultz noted that her overwhelmingly liberal Democratic district in Minneapolis is unlikely to punish her at the polls in the absence of any accompanying accusations of fraud or wrongdoing.
"I think she can dismiss it because her constituents aren't demanding accountability on this issue," he said.
A crowd that showed up to see Omar at an immigration forum Tuesday evening in Minneapolis was generally supportive. Jennifer Ramirez, a 22-year-old legal assistant who voted for Omar last year, said allegations of an affair wouldn't change her support.
"I don't think the affair has anything to do with how she is able to manage herself in government," Ramirez said.
Beth Mynett, who works as medical director and health services administrator for the D.C. Department of Corrections, also faulted her husband for taking their son, who is 13, on a dinner outing with Omar while she was out of town — a time during which Omar was the subject of death threats.
She is seeking joint legal custody for the son as well as primary physical custody. The Mynetts have been married for seven years, and in a relationship for 14 years.