Will Kellie Chauvin attend Derek Chauvin sentencing? Lawyer says she still supports ex
Former cop Derek Chauvin is awaiting sentencing on Friday, June 25, for his role in George Floyd's death. Now, many are wondering whether his ex-wife Kellie Chauvin will attend the hearing to support him in court.
Chauvin filed a lengthy motion earlier this week urging the court not to throw the book at him during his June 25 sentencing. He proposed that his sentence should consist of probation and credit for time served as he maintains he did nothing wrong during his encounter with Floyd on Memorial Day, May 25, 2020. On the other hand, prosecutors believe he should serve at least 30 years in prison.
In court documents, Chauvin described himself as a “husband, stepfather, uncle, brother, and son.” His lawyer wrote, “To this day, Mr Chauvin has a close relationship with his family and friends, and he benefits tremendously from their support. He has the support of his mother, stepfather, father, stepmother, and sister. Additionally, although they divorced in early 2021, Mr Chauvin is still supported by his ex-wife, her family, and his former stepchildren.”
Back in June 2020, a month after George Floyd’s death, Kellie Chauvin filed for divorce from Derek. She blamed the “irretrievable breakdown” of their relationship for divorce in legal court papers. Moreover, she didn't seek any financial compensation for the divorce. “[The] respondent is fully capable of supporting herself,” the filing stated. Both Kellie and her estranged husband waived their rights to “temporary or permanent spousal maintenance,” from each other, per court papers.
Kellie also mentioned that she just wanted to move on with her life independently and was also getting her last name changed. Previously known as Kellie May Thao and Kellie May Xiong, she didn't say what name she was going to use but the petition read, “She is seeking a name change solely because of this marriage dissolution.”
“Her utmost sympathy lies with [Floyd's] family, with his loved ones, and with everyone who is grieving this tragedy," a rep for Kellie said at the time of the divorce filing. "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 divorce was finalized in February. Kellie said in court that she didn't feel safe and was unable to work owing to her ex-husband's ongoing case. Based on Chauvin's testimony, it is highly probable she was in his corner the whole time and could show up in court on Friday. At the same time, it's possible Kellie would want nothing to do with the court proceedings, especially after getting a new name and identity.
Kellie was married before
Kellie Chauvin exchanged vows with her first husband Kujay Xiong at age 17, after an arranged marriage was set up. She barely knew him. “As a Hmong woman, if you’re not married by 18… then your parents think that nobody will marry you,” Kellie once said. Her first marriage didn't end well and she divorced her ex-husband after 10 years of an abusive relationship.
Kellie has two children from her first marriage. After splitting from her ex-husband, she moved to Minnesota. The mom-of-two then decided to complete her education and earned her associate’s degree in radiology. She soon landed an internship in the emergency room of Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, which later blossomed into a full-time position, and she worked there for 13 years. After resigning from the hospital, she worked as a realtor with RE/MAX Results.
How did she meet Derek Chauvin?
While working at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, she locked eyes with Chauvin when he had brought someone for a health check-up before arrest. The meeting sparked romance and the pair soon fell in love. In 2010, the two got hitched. Kellie sketched out intimate details of their beautiful relationship in a 2018 newspaper profile after she was crowned Mrs Minnesota.
She told the St Paul Pioneer Press, “Under that uniform, he's just a softie. He's such a gentleman. He still opens the door for me, still puts my coat on for me. After my [previous] divorce, I had a list of must-haves if I were ever to be in a relationship, and he fits all of them.”