Kellie Chauvin, the wife of fired police officer Derek Chauvin, stated through an attorney Friday that she filed for divorce because of the events that transpired Monday in the death of George Floyd.
“This evening, I spoke with Kellie Chauvin and her family. She is devastated by Mr. Floyd’s death and her utmost sympathy lies with his family, with his loved ones and with everyone who is grieving this tragedy. She has filed for dissolution of her marriage to Derek Chauvin,” the Sekula Law Offices said in a released statement.
Derek Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter Friday following the death of Floyd. The Minneapolis man was handcuffed and lying on the ground face down when Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, according to court documents.
Video of the incident shows Floyd saying he could not breathe before becoming unresponsive. A fire department report later stated that they did not sense a pulse on Floyd before he was loaded into an ambulance that took him to the Hennepin County Medical Center, where he was pronounce dead.
Kellie Chauvin, who was crowned United States of America’s Mrs. Minnesota in 2018, stated through the attorney that she and her family would like “privacy during this difficult time.”
“While Ms. Chauvin has no children from her current marriage, she respectfully requests that her children, her elder parents, and her extended family be given safety and privacy during this difficult time,” the statement read.
Newsweek reached out to the attorney that released this statement, as well as the attorney representing her husband, but they did not respond back in time for publication.
Kellie Chauvin is a Hmong woman who was born in Laos in 1974 during a civil war, according to a 2018 interview she did with The St. Paul Pioneer Press. Her family fled to Thailand in 1977 and lived in a refugee camp, before moving to Wisconsin three years later.
“They say ‘land of the free,’ but I still didn’t feel like we were free. We didn’t know English. My parents didn’t want us leaving the house because they didn’t trust the world. You land into this brand-new world and you don’t know what to expect, and so we were always kept inside,” she said.
Kellie Chauvin’s first marriage began when she was 17 years old, a marriage she described as an “abusive relationship.” She had two children with her first husband, and after 10 years she filed for divorce and moved to Minnesota. Kellie Chauvin met her current husband, Derek Chauvin, while working at the Hennepin County Medical Center.
“Under all that uniform, he’s just a softie,” Chauvin said of her husband in the 2018 interview. “He’s such a gentleman. He still opens the door for me, still puts my coat on for me. After my divorce, I had a list of must-haves if I were ever to be in a relationship, and he fit all of them.”
The couple has been married for about 10 years.