Kellie Chauvin is a Hmong American realtor who is the ex-wife of the former American police officer Derek Chauvin charged with the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Kellie May Chauvin (formerly Kellie May Thao and Kellie May Xiong) was born in October 1974 (age 46 years; as of 2021) in Laos. Kellie and her family fled to Thailand as a refugee from the Laotian Civil War (1959-75). In 1980, her family moved to Eau Claire in Wisconsin. She went to kindergarten at the age of ten. After the divorce from her first husband, she gained an associate’s degree in Radiology. Later, she went to Kaplan University to pursue a course in Residential Real Estate.
Height (approx.): 5′ 1″
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Brown
Family & Ethnicity
She was born into a Hmong family. The Sun She has a brother who is a police officer in South Paulo. At the age of seventeen, she was married to Kujay Xiong, a man who she had never met before. She got married at an early age because of her parent’s belief (as Hmong people) that if a girl is not married by eighteen, she will never get married. She faced an abusive relationship with Kujay until she finally decided to divorce and moved to Minnesota. She has two children from her marriage to Kujay. On June 12, 2012, she got married for the second time to Derek Chauvin in Washington County. Talking about her husband in an interview, she said,
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 fit all of them.”
After her husband was charged with the killing of George Floyd, she filed for a divorce with Derek. Putting forth her request of divorce, she also demanded her last name be changed, and her gaining full rights and titles to the joint properties (with Derek) in Oakdale in Minnesota and Windermere in Florida, and an equitable division of their shared vehicles and bank accounts. On April 20, 2021, a 12-member jury found Chauvin guilty of all three charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter; the jury gave its verdict after considering three weeks of testimony from 45 witnesses, including police officials, medical experts, and bystanders.
On June 25, 2021, a Minneapolis court sentenced him to 22 and half years in prison. CNN Judge Peter Cahill, in a 22-page memorandum that he wrote, said that the sentence was not based on emotion or public opinion. He wrote –
Chauvin “abused his position of trust or authority” and treated Floyd with “particular cruelty.” Chauvin treated Floyd “without respect and denied him the dignity owed to all human beings.”
The sentence was a first in Minneapolis history as earlier, the maximum range of sentencing in Minneapolis was of 10 years and eight months. According to Sarah Fitzgerald, Minnesota Department of Corrections spokesperson, Chauvin will be kept in a restricted housing unit at the Minnesota Correctional Facility- Oak Park Heights.
She began her career by interning as a radiology technician at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis and later, she became a permanent employee at the hospital. After working at the hospital for thirteen years, she resigned and worked as a realtor with a company called Re/Max Results. In 2018, after a suggestion from her close friend, she participated in USOA’s Mrs. Minnesota pageant and became the first-ever Hmong to win the title.
- Kellie gained public attention when she filed for a divorce with Derek Chauvin after George Floyd‘s death. She also became prey in the hands of Asian Americans, who called her out and labeled her as ‘self-hating and complicity with white supremacy.’ Many tagged her marriage as a ‘tool to gain social standing in the US,’ and also called her ‘Lu’ (lit. Asian women who are in relationships with white men as a form of white worship). NBC News
- When the news of her divorce from her husband broke, there were rumors spreading on social media, which claimed her as the sister of Tou Thao, an ex-police officer charged of helping in the murder of George. Later, her divorce lawyer Amanda Mason-Sekula cleared the air and said that the two have no relationship and Kellie’s family was facing harassment and was being threatened based on multiple incorrect reports. WMBF News
- In February 2005, she was charged with writing a worthless $42 check. Despite numerous letters concerning the matter were sent to her home, but she did not pay the owed money by July 2005. Later, a case was filed against her in Wisconsin. However, the case was dismissed as she had already paid the money. Conan Daily
Assets & Properties
She c-owns a house at Minnesota’s Oakdale worth $273,800, and a townhouse in Florida valued at $226,282 with Derek Chauvin. IB Times
- In an interview, she confessed that her hobby was helping people. She often takes time to buy groceries for police officers and military members and helps women facing abusive relationships. She also rescues dogs, cats, and other animals, and donates to and volunteers with Hmong Empowering Women, a nonprofit organization dedicated to aid Hmong women who have recently arrived in the US to find jobs, for child care, and a community.
- Kellie is an avid animal lover and also owns a pet dog.
- In her childhood days, Kellie Chauvin was teased, bullied, and was the only one of her friends who was not invited to participate in a local parade because she was called ‘ugly’ by other children.
- She met Derek for the first time while working at Hennepin County Medical Center when he had brought a suspect for a health check before bringing them to jail. After Derek left the hospital, he contacted Kellie and became friends with her.
- After learning of the death of George Floyd, she said
I am devastated by Mr. Floyd’s death and my utmost sympathy lies with his family, with his loved ones and with everyone who is grieving this tragedy.”