Chauvin’s ex-wife was crowned Mrs. Minnesota in 2019, but there have been no celebrations recently. Kellie’s life turned upside down when her then-husband, Derek Chauvin, was seen kneeling on George Floyd’s neck.
Kellie Chauvin soon received death threats after the tragic incident last year. As the trial continued her reputation was continuously attacked. One false accusation that circulated on social media claimed that her brother was a cop who was present during George Floyd’s killing. Mercury News reported that the claim was untrue. She and her husband’s property was damaged during riots and protests.
She had had enough. On May 28, 2020, just three days after her husband murdered George Floyd, she legally separated from Derek Chauvin. She was “devastated by Mr. Floyd’s death” according to a statement shared by her attorneys at Sekula Law Offices, PLLC, on May 29, 2020. “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 statement confirmed. “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.”
Kellie filed for divorce on May 31, 2020, which began a difficult legal battle that was followed by the huge trial that would ultimately convict Chauvin of Floyd’s murder.
In October 2020, Washington County District Judge Juanita Freeman rejected the first agreement. Judges can deny an uncontested agreement between a couple if “the transfer features ‘badges of fraud’.” According to Freeman, it did.
Freeman wrote that Kellie Chauvin would have received all equity in the couple’s two homes, the money in their shared bank accounts and investments, and all the money from Derek Chauvin’s pensions and retirement accounts. The judge speculated that the Chauvins were attempting to protect their assets.
The divorce was not finalized until February 2021. The now-divorced Kellie Chauvin was born in Laos and was just 3-years-old when she and her family fled to Thailand as refugees, according to the Independent. After their 1977 escape, the family lived in a refugee camp until they migrated to Eau Claire, Wisconsin in the United States.
There Kellie admitted being bullied for not speaking proper English and being less proficient in reading and writing than her classmates. “They say ‘land of the free,’ but I still didn’t feel like we were free,” Kellie Chauvin said in an interview with the Twin Cities Pioneer Press.
Before she turned 18, Kellie’s parents arranged a marriage. The couple was married for 10 years and they had two children before Chauvin filed for divorce, claiming domestic abuse.
It was years later when Kellie moved to Minnesota and earned her associate degree in radiology. Then she met her second husband. They met at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, the same hospital Floyd was rushed to after the tragic police confrontation.
“Under all that uniform, he’s just a softie,” Kellie Chauvin said of her husband in 2018. “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.” Derek Chauvin then became the stepfather of Kellie’s two children.
Kellie’s life will be forever changed, but she is trying to move on. Her ex-husband is currently awaiting sentencing in a segregated housing unit at the Oak Park Heights prison.