Derek Chauvin’s beauty queen ex-wife filed for divorce from the convicted ex-cop days after George Floyd died in his custody.
Kellie May Xiong Chauvin, who was crowned Mrs. Minnesota in 2019, legally separated from Chauvin on May 28, 2020, three days after the fatal arrest, for which Chauvin was found guilty of murder Tuesday, according to the Independent.
On May 30, she filed for divorce in Stillwater, Minnesota citing “an irretrievable breakdown.” The request was granted on Feb. 2, according to the outlet.
Kellie May’s lawyer said at the time she was “devastated” by Floyd’s death, and her “utmost sympathy lies with his family, with his loved ones and with everyone else who is grieving this tragedy,” according to Southern Minnesota News.
The judge in the case reportedly rejected the former couple’s request to transfer most of their assets to Kellie.
A settlement filed in January awarded Kellie most of the profits from their two vandalized homes as well as $704,000 in cash, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Derek was left with $420,000 in the reported deal.
Kellie May, 46, was born in Laos in 1974, and her family moved to Thailand as refugees three years later, according to a 2018 profile in the Twin Cities Pioneer Press.
In 1980, the family was able to migrate in Wisconsin, but Kellie told the paper she still felt like a refugee.
“They say ‘land of the free,’ but I still didn’t feel like we were free,” she said in 2018.
“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.”
The former Mrs. Chauvin said she was bullied at school over her English skills and was called “ugly” by classmates, according to the profile.
She reportedly entered an arranged marriage at the behest of her parents when she was 17.
“As a Hmong woman, if you’re not married by 18… then your parents think that nobody will marry you,” Kellie told the Pioneer Press.
The marriage produced two children, but ended ten years later when Kellie reportedly accused her husband of alleged domestic abuse.
The 27-year-old divorcee moved to Minnesota and earned an associate’s degree in radiology, interning and later working at Hennepin County Medical Center, the report said.
It was at the hospital where George Floyd would one day be pronounced dead where she met her second husband.
Derek Chauvin reportedly took notice of her while bringing a suspect to the hospital, and asked her out.
“Under all that uniform, he’s just a softie,” Kellie said in the 2018 profile.
“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.”
That year, the beauty proved her cruel and shallow bullies wrong, entering a pageant at the age of 43 and being crowned Mrs. Minnesota, the first Hmong woman to receive that award, the local paper said.
“I just knew that for myself, I was better than what people made me out to be,” Kellie said. “I know it took me a long time to realize that, but it’s never too late.”
The former beauty queen did not have any children with Chauvin, who faces up to 40 years in prison.