Petraeus friend was harassed by ex-lover
The woman to whom Gen David Petraeus’s biographer and former lover Paula Broadwell sent threatening emails has been identified as Jill Kelley (37) of Tampa, Florida.
Gen Petraeus (60) resigned as director of the CIA on Friday, saying he had shown “extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair.”
The FBI stumbled on to the affair between Petraeus and Broadwell after Ms Kelley complained to a friend employed by the domestic intelligence agency that she was receiving harrassing emails.
Ms Kelley is an unpaid “social liaison”, organising parties for military families at the MacDill airforce base in Tampa, home to US Central Command. Gen Petraeus headed Centcom from 2008 until 2010, when he left to head military operations in Afghanistan.
Ms Kelley and her husband Scott, a surgeon, are described as friends of Gen Petraeus and his wife of 38 years, Holly. US media published photographs of the couples together at a 2010 party, and they reportedly spent Christmases together.
Ms Broadwell spent a year “embedded” with Gen Petraeus in Afghanistan while writing her extremely laudatory best-selling book, All In: The Education of General David Petraeus. Their affair reportedly started in August 2011, as he was preparing to leave the military, and ended several months ago.
There is no evidence Gen Petraeus was romantically involved with Ms Kelley, but Ms Broadwell, who turned 40 on Friday, the day the scandal broke, was apparently jealous of their friendship. She sent emails to Kelley warning her to “stay away from my guy”. Both women are married to doctors. Ms Broadwell has two children; Ms Kelley three. “I know what you did,” Ms Broadwell reportedly wrote, ordering Kelley to “back off” from Petraeus.
FBI investigators realised in late summer that the CIA director was having an affair with a married woman. After establishing that the affair posed no threat to US national security, they interviewed Petraeus during the last week of October. On November 6th, election day, director of national intelligence James Clapper asked Gen Petraeus to step down. Mr Clapper informed the White House on November 7th and President Barack Obama accepted the resignation two days later.
Diane Feinstein, who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, described the news as a “lightning bolt”. Members of Congress have expressed anger that they were not informed earlier. Officials from the FBI, CIA and congressional committees will hold meetings on the subject tomorrow.