Jill Kelley, the Tampa, Fla., socialite who triggered the federal investigation that exposed CIA Director David H. Petraeus’ extramarital affair and forced his resignation, is suing the FBI and Pentagon for violating her privacy and turning her into an object of national ridicule.
Kelley says U.S. officials obtained unauthorized access to her personal emails after she reported receiving anonymous, threatening messages beginning in June 2012. She also alleges that officials unlawfully disclosed her name to the news media after Petraeus’ affair became public.
The FBI and Pentagon “willfully and maliciously thrust the Kelleys into the maw of public scrutiny concerning one of the most widely reported sex scandals to rock the United States government,” according to a complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Washington. The complaint says Kelley and her husband, Scott, are seeking an apology and unspecified monetary damages.
An FBI spokesman said the bureau couldn’t comment on a pending legal matter.
The threatening emails were determined to have been sent by Paula Broadwell, Petraeus’s mistress and biographer, who viewed Kelley as a rival for his affections. Kelley never engaged in adultery, the complaint says, and met Petraeus through social events she organized in Tampa while he served as commander of U.S. Central Command, based at nearby MacDill Air Force Base.
The November scandal also ensnared Gen. John R. Allen, who received the first threatening email and passed it on to Kelley, whom he also met as Centcom commander. The inquiry into their relationship — including hundreds of emails they exchanged — held up Allen’s bid to become commander of NATO.
A family friend of Paula Broadwell, the author who carried on an affair with former CIA Director David Petraeus, tells ABC News that Broadwell “deeply regrets the damage that’s been done to her family” from the dalliance.
The person close to Broadwell also told ABC News Sunday night, that Broadwell is devastated by the fallout, which led to Petraeus’ resignation from the CIA. The friend spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.
Broadwell, her husband, Scott, and their two young sons, drove back to their home in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, according to the friend. The family was greeted by more than 25 supportive friends and neighbors upon their arrival.
Broadwell didn’t react to reporters gathered outside the home, but her husband said “no comment at this time” and a possible statement would be coming soon, according to ABC News affiliate WSOC.
Broadwell left again this afternoon without speaking to reporters.
The 40-year-old author, who wrote the biography on Gen. Petraeus, “All In,” spent more than a week at her brother’s Washington, D.C., home after news broke of the affair. The friend says Broadwell is now trying to “focus on her family.”
A computer used by Paula Broadwell, the woman whose affair with CIA Director David Petraeus led to his resignation, contained substantial classified information that should have been stored under more secure conditions, law enforcement and national security officials said on Wednesday.
The contents and amount of the classified material - and questions about how Broadwell got it - are significant enough to warrant a continuing investigation, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to comment publicly.
The details about material held by Broadwell, a reserve officer in military intelligence, emerged Wednesday as the Pentagon suspended Broadwell’s security clearance.
Late Wednesday, the House intelligence committee announced Petraeus would testify on Friday behind closed doors about the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Leaders of the House and Senate intelligence committees were briefed Wednesday on the Petraeus matter by leaders of the FBI and CIA.
There is growing concern among military and law enforcement officials about the potential fallout from the affair between Petraeus and Broadwell, who co-authored a biography of the retired general.
The F.B.I. agent who helped start the investigation that led to the resignation of David H. Petraeus as C.I.A. director is a “hard-charging” veteran counterterrorism investigator who used his command of French in investigating the foiled “millennium” terrorist plot in 1999, colleagues said on Wednesday.
The agent, Frederick W. Humphries II, 47, took the initial complaint from Jill Kelley, the Tampa, Fla., hostess who was socially active in military circles there, about e-mails she found disturbing that accused her of inappropriately flirtatious behavior toward Mr. Petraeus. The subsequent cyberstalking investigation uncovered an extramarital affair between Mr. Petraeus and Paula Broadwell, his biographer, who agents determined had sent the anonymous e-mails. It also ensnared Gen. John R. Allen, who now commands troops in Afghanistan, after the investigation discovered that he had sent “inappropriate communication” to Ms. Kelley.
Colleagues and news reports described the role of Mr. Humphries, in just his third year at the F.B.I., in building the case against Ahmed Ressam, who was detained as he tried to enter the United States from Canada in 1999 with a plan to set off a bomb at Los Angeles International Airport.
There were remarks galore about her unusually toned arms and the way she dressed to show them off. I even spotted a comment about how much of her armpits one of her outfits revealed, as if underarm exhibitionism were some sort of sexual sorcery, some aphrodisiac, the key to it all.
What else could explain his transgression? Why else would a man of such outward discipline and outsize achievement risk so much? The temptress must have been devious. The temptation must have been epic.
That was the tired tone of some of the initial coverage of, and reaction to, the affair between David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell, which had many people claiming surprise where there wasn’t cause for any, reverting to clichés that should be retired and indulging in a sexism we like to think we’ve moved past.
Broadwell has just 13 percent body fat, according to a recent measurement. Did you know that? Did you need to? It came up nonetheless. And like so much else about her — her long-ago coronation as homecoming queen, her six-minute mile — it was presented not merely as a matter of accomplishment, but as something a bit titillating, perhaps a part of the trap she laid.
The mistress of former CIA Director David Petraeus publicly discussed sensitive and previously unknown details about the assault on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.
In an Oct. 26 alumni symposium at the University of Denver, Paula Broadwell said that the CIA annex at the Benghazi consulate came under assault on Sept. 11 because it had earlier “taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner and they think the attack on the consulate was an effort to try to get these prisoners back. It’s still being vetted.” (That information was not part of the CIA’s timeline of the Benghazi assault, and Eli Lake of the Daily Beast reports that the CIA has denied any such detention.) “I don’t know if a lot of you have heard this,” Broadwell prefaced her remarks by saying.
It was a surprising disclosure, given the deep classification of the CIA’s detention policies — and the enormous political stakes surrounding the Benghazi assault. But in many ways, it was only natural for Broadwell, given her evolution from Petraeus protegee to biographer to paramour and unofficial spokesperson.