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Entries in Jill Kelley (9)

Tuesday
Nov272012

Petraeus Scandal: Socialite Jill Kelley Fighting Back

Tampa Bay Magazine(NEW YORK) -- Tampa socialite Jill Kelley is fighting back. Tuesday, sources close to the woman who was caught in the media crossfire during the David Petraeus sex scandal have released new letters aimed at reclaiming her reputation.

In one, Kelley's attorney goes after a New York businessman who claimed Kelley was using her connections to Petraeus to broker a deal with the South Korean government.

"It is impossible to overlook your attempt to get your '15 minutes of fame,'" attorney Abbe Lowell wrote to Adam Victor, the president and CEO of TransGas Development Systems. "…You have the right to do that to yourself, but you do not have the right to defame our client."

"This letter is notice to you that statements you have made are false and defamatory and are intended to portray Ms. Kelley in a false light," the letter continued.

Victor has claimed that Kelley asked for $80 million in commissions to arrange a deal between Victor and the South Korean government. Kelley was an honorary consul for the Republic of South Korea.

"While it is certainly true that Ms. Kelley communicated with you about a potential business deal, it has nothing to do with General Petraeus or other military," Lowell wrote Victor.

The dealings between Jill Kelley and Adam Victor were detailed in a series of emails between the two made public earlier this month. The emails appeared to confirm the New York businessman's claim that Kelley wanted a huge fee for brokering a transaction with the South Korean government.

But in his letter to Victor, Lowell denies that Kelley wanted anything close to $80 million, and says the full chain of emails reveal that "it was you (Victor) who were trying to capitalize on her contacts, and not the other way around."

Kelley and Victor were introduced at the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August by Kelley's friend, Tampa real estate developer Don Phillips. In an interview with ABC News, Phillips said he suggested that Kelley and Victor should meet because Kelley could help Victor land a deal for a coal gasification plant in South Korea.

Phillips claimed that Kelley said that Victor tried to "proposition" her "almost immediately," and said he had to cajole her into flying to New York for a second meeting with Victor.

After she met with Victor in New York, Phillips said, Kelley reported that she was no longer interested in pursuing the deal. According to Phillips, she said, "As a result of my personal investigations and business intelligence this is just not going anywhere, Don, and you just don't want to associate with this guy."

Victor, who denies propositioning Kelley, claimed she continued pushing for the deal after their meeting in New York. But sources close to Kelley say that telephone voice messages Victor left for Kelley reveal that he was the one who continued to seek Kelley's involvement, even after the Petraeus affair came to light.

Victor also claims that Kelley told him Petraeus arranged for her to be named honorary consul, and that she could use her connections with high-level Korean officials to help land the coal plant deal.

None of the emails that Victor showed to ABC News mention Petraeus. Kelley's friend Don Phillips told ABC News that Kelley has not "in any way tried to profit" from her relationship with Petraeus.

Sources close to Kelley also say a complaint about Kelley's former attorney was filed with the Florida Consumer Assistance Program, charging that he may have violated attorney-client privilege by holding a news conference and speaking about Kelley.

In addition, a letter from Kelley's lawyer was dispatched to the Department of Justice, asking if there will be an investigation of how his clients' names leaked to the media.

Victor told ABC News he has not yet received the letter that was released to selected reporters Tuesday evening, but after being told of its contents Victor said it appears to be a frivolous complaint.

"I don't know what they're upset about. I've said nothing derogatory about Ms. Kelley and have only told the facts as I know them, in fact much of what I've said was complimentary," Victor said.

As to charges of inappropriate behavior, Victor said he was mystified. He told ABC News he had only met Kelley in the presence of his female chief of staff and received gracious follow up emails from Kelley afterwards.

Victor said he did indeed contact Kelley after the Petraeus scandal broke, but mainly to find out what was going on.

Requests for comment from the Kelleys' Florida attorney were not immediately returned.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov212012

Jill Kelley Emails Show Her Eager to Make Multi-Billion Dollar Deal

Tampa Bay Magazine(NEW YORK) -- Tampa socialite Jill Kelley, the woman at the center of the scandal that brought down CIA chief David Petraeus, was apparently so eager to make a multi-billion dollar Korean business deal that she was willing to cancel anniversary plans with her husband, Dr. Scott Kelley, according to emails reviewed exclusively by ABC News.

Emails between Kelley and Adam Victor, president and CEO of TransGas Development Systems, also appear to confirm the New York businessman's claim that Kelley wanted a huge fee for brokering the transaction.

Kelley and Victor were introduced at the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August by Kelley's friend, Tampa real estate developer Don Phillips. Kelley is an honorary consul for the Republic of South Korea. In an interview with ABC News, Phillips said he suggested that Kelley and Victor should meet because Kelley could help Victor land a deal for a coal gasification plant in South Korea.

Phillips claimed that Kelley said that Victor tried to "proposition" her "almost immediately," and said he had to cajole her into flying to New York for a second meeting with Victor. After she met with Victor in New York, said Phillips, Kelley reported that she was no longer interested in pursuing the deal. According to Phillips, she said, "As a result of my personal investigations and business intelligence this is just not going anywhere, Don, and you just don't want to associate with this guy."

But according to an email sent shortly after their introduction in Tampa, Kelley was pushing hard to set up another meeting with Victor as soon as possible. "[M]y husband is in agreement with me canceling our 13th Anniversary dinner plans," said Kelley in an email to a Victor employee. "Please call me."

Victor, who denies propositioning Kelley, also claimed she continued pushing for the deal after their meeting in New York.

On September 5, as she flew home following the meeting she emailed, "Adam, I'm on my flight. It was wonderful to meet with you. I was quite impressed learning about the project to say the least. I'm emailing around some contacts, calling in favors, and totally anxious to take this to the next step. It has HUGE potential. It just needs a catalyst like me." The word me is followed by a smiley emoticon, :-).

The next day she emailed Victor again, bringing up her Korean contacts as well as the subject of her fee. "I know how to present this to the top leaders in Korea. ... Can you send me an agreement with my profit for facilitating the deal?" she wrote. "I'm truly looking forward to bringing this concept into fruition."

On September 10, she emailed Victor again, this time from Hawaii, and again alluding to her fee. "I'm in Honolulu with the Korean delegation from Seoul. Any update with an agreement for my commission?" Victor responded, asking Kelley to tell him her "normal" fee. Kelley answered, "My fee to bring this to fruition will be 2%. I look forward to a formal agreement and moving forward."

Victor told ABC News the coal gasification plants under discussion were worth $4 billion, which means two percent would amount to an $80 million fee, a fee he found ridiculous.

He rejected the proposal. "The suggested fee you have asked for is so out of market, I have no way of working out any acceptable deal with you," he wrote. "You should not contact anyone on our behalf."

After that, Kelley emailed Victor once more, writing, "If you have an alternate proposal, I'd be interested in hearing it."

Victor responded, asking about an alternate fee structure, but did not hear back from Kelley again.

A representative for Kelley could not immediately be reached for comment on the newly revealed emails. Victor also claims that Kelley told him Gen. Petraeus arranged for her to be named honorary consul, and that she could use her connections with high-level Korean officials to help land the coal plant deal. None of the emails that Victor showed to ABC News mention Petraeus.

Kelley's friend Don Phillips told ABC News that Kelley has not "in any way tried to profit" from her relationship with Gen. Petraeus.

Retired Army Col. Steve Boylan, a friend and former spokesperson for ex-CIA Director Petraeus, said it was "nonsense" that Petraeus had any part in Kelley's alleged Korean deal. Another source told ABC News that Petraeus had asked Kelley to stop throwing his name around.

T.J. Kim, a spokesman for the South Korean Embassy in Washington says there was a meeting of Korean honorary consuls in Honolulu in September and he was told Kelley attended. There are a handful of such consuls across the country. But he has derided Kelley's alleged claim of access.

"She only assumed this honorary position in August, and in three months we saw no activity from her or for the Korean government or the Korean community in Florida," he told ABC News.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov202012

Petraeus Affair: 'There's No Dark Plot Here,' Jill Kelley's Friend Says

Tampa Bay Magazine(NEW YORK) -- A man who says he's a "very close friend" of Jill Kelley, the woman at the center of the scandal that brought down CIA chief David Petraeus, told ABC News that Kelley's portrayal in the media is inaccurate, as are any insinuations that she hoped to profit financially from her close connection to America's spymaster.

Don Phillips, a Tampa, Fla., real estate developer, said in an interview that Kelley is "the best kind of friend" anyone would like to have, including America's top military officials.

"Take everything you know and turn it around 180 degrees," said Phillips, who has known Kelley and her husband for five years.  "The reason these people [the Kelleys and military officials] are close is not because there [was] any untoward thing or any unseemly thing but quite to the contrary.  It's because they are trustworthy people and they've kept their mouths closed.  They don't go out to sensationalize these issues.  They don't talk about getting involved in scandal."

"I don't think Jill Kelley, in any way, has tried to profit from this relationship," he said of Kelley's friendship with Petraeus.  "There's no dark plot here.  There is no conspiracy.  There is no grand crime."

Phillips took issue with allegations made by New York businessman Adam Victor concerning a proposed multi-billion dollar business deal with South Korea in which Kelley was allegedly involved.

Adam Victor told ABC News on Friday that Kelley had claimed it was Petraeus who arranged for her to be named honorary consul to South Korea and, as a result, she could use her connections with high-level Korean officials to help him land a large coal gasification deal in the Asian country.  Victor also alleged that Kelley demanded a 2 percent commission on the deal, a fee of about $80 million.

"It became clear that it did not smell right," Victor said.  Victor said he got the feeling Kelley was inexperienced and unqualified to help him with the deal so he "terminated the relationship."

Phillips, who introduced Victor to Kelley, confirmed that the two had discussed the Korea deal, but said Kelley was the one who ended the business relationship after Victor "propositioned" her.

"Not only did I introduce him to her but other people in the community who all had a very negative report that came back to me and I felt terrible about introducing him to them," Phillips said.  "Jill, immediately upon meeting him, said she felt very uncomfortable, that he propositioned her almost immediately... I said, 'Jill, please, with this station, with this honor that you have forwarding the economic interest of this country, you have to look beyond that.'  And she goes, 'I don't want to deal with this guy.'  And I said, 'Please, for my sake, just bear through.  We all deal with a bunch of unsavory characters from time to time.'"

Phillips acknowledged that Kelley traveled to New York to meet with Victor, as Victor had claimed, but said Kelley determined the business relationship was "just not going anywhere."  Phillips said that Victor was correct in saying Kelley had no "trans-financial capability," but that was just because she never wanted it.

"It's because she is not interested in it.  She's extremely content.  She has a great husband who does a great job earning for them and they have a pretty good life.  That's not what motivates Jill," he said.

Victor denied that he ever propositioned Kelley and told ABC News Phillips was "rewriting history and not telling the truth."

Retired Army Col. Steve Boylan, a friend and former spokesperson for ex-CIA Director Petraeus, told ABC News last week it was "nonsense" that Petraeus had any part in Kelley's alleged Korean deal.

Kelley stumbled into the international spotlight earlier this month when she was identified as the woman who sparked an FBI investigation that eventually led to Petraeus' recent resignation.  Over the summer Kelley had told an FBI friend about harassing emails she had received from an anonymous sender.  In the course of the FBI investigation that found Paula Broadwell, an Army Reserves intelligence officer and biographer of Petraeus, was sending the messages, the bureau also uncovered evidence that Petraeus and Broadwell were having an affair.

The FBI informed the White House of the affair a day after President Obama was reelected and a few days later, Petraeus resigned.

Phillips said he believes Kelley's relationship with Petraeus was probably similar to his own with her -- like brother and sister.

"I have a great and close relationship with her, but not for a moment has my wife ever questioned our relationship.  [Jill] doesn't leave that impression.  She doesn't give you that sense that there is any hanky-panky or foul play going on.  She projects an air of a confident and friendly relationship," he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov152012

Jill Kelley Wanted $80M to Broker Korea Deal: 'It Didn't Smell Right,' Businessman Says

Tampa Bay Magazine(NEW YORK) -- A New York businessman who discussed a multi-billion-dollar Korean business deal with Jill Kelley said the Tampa woman at the center of the Petraeus scandal told him Gen. Petraeus had arranged for her to become an honorary consul for South Korea and promote free trade, and then asked him for $80 million to complete the deal.

"Ms. Kelley made it clear to me that General Petraeus put her in this position, and that's why she was able to have access to such senior levels [of the Korean government]," said Adam Victor, president and CEO of TransGas Development Systems, "that they were essentially doing a favor for General Petraeus, and that she had access solely because of her relationship with General Petraeus."

Victor, who met Kelley at the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August, said he was disappointed in Gen. Petraeus for helping Kelley become an honorary consul. "Frankly, I blame Gen. Petraeus for this as a lapse of judgment," he said. "The general should have known better."

Gen. Petraeus resigned as CIA director last Friday after an FBI investigation turned up evidence of an affair between Petraeus and Paula Broadwell, co-author of the Petraeus biography All In. The investigation began when Kelley, a Tampa socialite, told an FBI agent she knew about "harassing" emails that turned out to originate from Broadwell.

According to Victor, he went to Tampa to promote coal gasification and met a friend of Kelley's who suggested that they meet to discuss a possible international deal. "The person who introduced me to her said that she was well known to be a very close friend of Gen. Petraeus," said Victor.

Victor said that he and Kelley met in "the VIP section" at the convention, where Kelly said that, "she was a very good friend of Gen. Petraeus," and that, "he arranged for her to get this position of honorary consul for South Korea" to promote free trade. She also allegedly said she had access to senior government officials in Korea.

Victor said he thought it made sense that Petraeus would want to put a trusted aide in charge of promoting free trade. When Kelley named her fee for brokering the deal, however, Victor balked. The coal gasification plants under discussion were worth $4 billion, said Victor -- and Kelley wanted a two percent cut. "That's an $80 million fee," he said. "And I mean that is problematic...No broker gets $80 million. I mean that's two whole orders of magnitude higher than what they would get."

Victor said he "terminated the relationship" after Kelley asked for $80 million. He decided that while she was not making an inappropriate request on purpose, it showed she was inexperienced and unqualified for the job. He also began to wonder about Petraeus's judgment.

"It became clear that it did not smell right," he said. "Gen. Petraeus should not have put an inexperienced person in charge of the Free Trade Agreement with such an important ally as South Korea."

"It's a sad day for the country," concluded Victor. "Gen. Petraeus has served this country well."

A spokesperson for Jill Kelley did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Retired Army Col. Steve Boylan, a friend and former spokesperson for ex-CIA Director Petraeus, said it was "nonsense" that Petraeus had any part in Kelley's alleged Korean deal. "He knows nothing about it," insisted Boylan. "What other people do he can't control." Another source told ABC News that Petraeus had asked Kelley to stop throwing his name around.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov152012

Veteran FBI Agent Frederick Humphries Got Ball Rolling on Petraeus Probe

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The FBI agent who investigated harassing emails to a Florida socialite, a probe that set off a chain of events leading to the resignation of CIA director David Petraeus over an extramarital affair, was a veteran investigator who has worked on high-profile terrorism cases.

The agent was identified as Frederick Humphries by a former federal agent, a source familiar with the Petraeus investigation and Humphries' attorney, Lawrence Berger.

Humphries, 47, received the initial complaint from Jill Kelley, a Tampa, Fla., socialite, about "harassing" emails that an investigation traced back to Paula Broadwell, a 40-year-old author who co-wrote a biography of Petraeus.

The investigation ultimately uncovered evidence of an affair between Broadwell and Petraeus, prompting Petraeus to resign last week.

Berger said his client's family, "knew the Kelley family socially for several years." Jill Kelley asked Humphries for advice on what she perceived to be threatening e-mails and he, "referred the matter to the bureau as appropriate."

Berger said his client has been wrongly characterized as a "whistleblower," but there is, "no action pending against him, nor does he anticipate any future action."

Humphries, "referred the matter to the FBI in accordance to proper protocol," Berger added, and the FBI investigation is taking its course.

Berger flatly declined to confirm or provide any details at all regarding Humphries' alleged contacts with the offices of either Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., or House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va.

According to the New York Times, Humphries was allegedly concerned the case had been stalled for political reasons, and in late October contacted Reichert, whom he knew from his time working in Washington. The Times reported that Reichert put him in touch with Cantor, who then passed the message to FBI director, Robert Mueller.

An associate of Humphries told ABC News that it was hard to believe that Humphries had contacted elected officials about the case because, "everyone knows that's professional suicide" and Humphries is "top notch."

According to media reports, Humphries played a central role in foiling the so-called Millenium terror plot in 1999, preventing an Algerian al Qaeda member from bombing Los Angeles International Airport.

Humphries has worked as a supervisor on Joint Terrorism Task Force in Tampa and has worked on high-profile terrorism cases.

Regarding a "shirtless" photo that Humphries reportedly sent to Jill Kelley, Berger told ABC News that several years ago, Humphries sent a "joke picture" of himself to the Kelley family showing Humphries "posing shirtless between two shooting range dummies."

"There was absolutely no romantic involvement or relationship whatsoever between Agent Humphries and Jill Kelley," said Berger.

According to Berger, sharing funny photos was part of the family's relationship.

Berger objected to unattributed comments in the New York Times that his client was "obsessed" with pursuing the matter.

"Is he a dogged, professional, passionate law enforcement officer? Yes," Berger told ABC News. But it would be "incorrect to describe him as obsessed" with this case, said Berger.

According to Berger, Humphries, "reported what he knew according to FBI protocol and then let the investigation take its course."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov132012

Petraeus Affair: A Comprehensive Update

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The upset that started out as Gen. David Petraeus' surprise resignation from his post as CIA-Director has ballooned into a full-fledged scandal, implicating his successor general in Afghanistan, his biographer, the FBI, and a whole family of military supporters -- not to mention further muddying the waters surrounding the investigation into the Obama administration's handling of the deadly terror attack on the U.S. consulate and a CIA building in Benghazi.

Here's a rundown of what ABC News has learned of late:

A Second Afghanistan General is Under Investigation

General John Allen, the commander of American forces in Afghanistan, came under investigation because of 20,000 to 30,000 emails and documents connecting him to Jill Kelley, the Tampa military enthusiast who received what she perceived as a harassing email from Petraeus' biographer-turned-mistress, Paula Broadwell. A Defense Department official characterized some of those emails as "inappropriate" and "flirtatious," but another official said they were mostly harmless, and there were likely no sordid interactions between Allen and Kelley.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Tuesday that President Obama stands by Gen. Allen. The president accepted Petraeus' resignation last week, but he continues to have "faith" in Allen, Carney said.

Read more about the investigation of Gen. John Allen here.

Petraeus Personally Investigated Benghazi


In late October, Petraeus traveled to Libya to conduct his own review of the Benghazi attack that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

The Libya stop was part of a six nation trip to the region. Petraeus intended the review as a way to prepare for his upcoming testimony before Congress on Benghazi. After the scandal broke, the administration reports his testimony is on hold.

Read more about Petraeus' involvement in Libya here.


Upset on the Hill


ABC's Sunlen Miller reports that Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and other lawmakers say it's "imperative" that Petraeus still give that testimony.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, expects the Senate will need to hear from Petraeus on the Libya attack "one way or another." There's whisperings he -- and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who recently left on an overseas trip -- could be subpoenaed if they don't make themselves available.

Read more of what Petraeus' upset means for the Senate here.


All About the Kelleys


Jill Kelley, 37, is a Tampa socialite who volunteered her time to support the military, planned and hosted charitable events and forged tight friendships with top brass. Her sister Natalie also became friendly with major players, including both Gen. Petraeus and Gen. John Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, who wrote letters on her behalf as she battled her ex-husband for custody of her son.

Kelley's social efforts on behalf of the military earned her the unpaid title of "honorary ambassador" to CENTCOM, the Defense Department's Central Command, which is based in Tampa at MacDill Air Force Base and has responsibility for directing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

ABC News' Steven Portnoy reports the special license plate designating Jill Kelley as an "Honorary Consul," on her gray Mercedes Benz S500 is not just because she was considered CENTCOM's "social ambassador."

A staffer at the Embassy of Korea in Washington confirms that his government conferred "honorary consul" status upon Kelley in August of this year.

The job carries no official responsibilities, nor does it grant any immunities or even pay a stipend. It's an honorary title, handed out to those who are willing to "assist" the nearest consulate with outreach. But with the status, and the documentation she was given, Kelley was able to obtain the special vanity plate. Florida Department of Highway Safety officials checked it out with the State Department and issued the plate in September.

Read more about the Kelleys here.

Petraeus: The Sequel


ABC News has learned that Broadwell was working on a second biography of Petraeus.

Watch more about that book from GMA here.

Broadwell's Law Firm Not New to High-Profile Scandal


The lawyer representing the woman who was the mistress of former CIA-director David Petraeus works for the same firm as the lawyer who represented Monica Lewinsky.

An assistant to Washington lawyer Robert F. Muse told ABC News that Muse is representing Broadwell and is a partner at the same firm as Jacob A. Stein, the man who was one half of the 2003 team for President Clinton's famed mistress, Monica Lewinsky.

Read more about Stein, Mitchell, Muse & Cipollone here.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov132012

Jill Kelley and Twin Sister Closely Tied to Top Brass

Jill Kelly with her husband Dr. Scott Kelly. Tampa Bay Magazine(WASHINGTON) -- The Florida woman whose report of harassing emails from Paula Broadwell ultimately led to the resignation of CIA director Gen. David Petraeus may be a "nice, rich, bored socialite," as one U.S. official described her, but she also pursued close ties to top military and intelligence officials, and with her husband and twin sister has endured recent financial and legal woes.

Jill Kelley, 37, is a Tampa socialite who volunteered her time to support the military, planned and hosted charitable events and forged tight friendships with top brass. Her sister Natalie Kwaham also became friendly with major players, including both Gen. Petraeus and Gen. John Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, who wrote letters on her behalf as she battled her ex-husband for custody of her son.

"We and our family have been friends with Gen. Petraeus and his family for over five years," Kelley said in a statement. "We respect his and his family's privacy and want the same for us and our three children."

Kelley and her husband Scott Kelley, the parents of three, are close friends with the Petraeus family. The families have spent the holidays together several times over the years and celebrated Christmas together last year, according to Petraeus' daughter Anne's personal blog.

"Our friends from Tampa (the twins Jill and Natalie, plus Jill's husband Scott and their three little girls, as well as Natalie's 2-year-old son John) were in town and came over for an afternoon feast and presents at our place," she wrote in the blog.

Kelley's social efforts on behalf of the military earned her the unpaid title of "honorary ambassador" to CENTCOM, the Defense Department's Central Command, which is based in Tampa at MacDill Air Force Base and has responsibility for directing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. A U.S. official described Kelley as a "nice, bored, rich socialite" who drops "honorary" from her title and tells people she is an ambassador.

When Kelley reported harassing emails from an unknown source, the emails were traced to the account of Paula Broadwell, co-author of the Petraeus biography All In. Investigators are said to have found intimate emails in Broadwell's inbox that pointed to an intimate affair with Petraeus. Petraeus announced his resignation as CIA director on Friday.

Kelley has not been romantically linked to Petraeus, but her link to Gen. John Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, is now under investigation.

Allen is under investigation for alleged "inappropriate communications" with Kelley.

The FBI has uncovered "potentially inappropriate" emails between Allen and Kelly, according to a senior U.S. defense official who is traveling with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. The department is reviewing between 20,000 and 30,000 documents connected to this matter, the official said. The email exchanges between Kelley and Allen took place from 2010 to 2012.

The U.S. official said the emails were "innocuous" and mostly about upcoming dinner parties and seeing him on TV. Allen denies he was involved in an affair, a Pentagon official said. An intermediary for Allen told ABC News that Allen and his wife are friends with Kelley and her husband and most of the emails were sent from Kelley to Allen's wife.

Kelley's family is standing by her and denying any untoward allegations and insinuations.

"It is a shock," Kelley's brother David Khawan told ABC News' Tampa affiliate WFTS. "We are just trying to find out where the pieces are falling right now."

"She is very dedicated to her husband and to her kids," he said. "So, something like this is really pretty much a fluke. So, for anybody to paint her as otherwise is completely wrong."

But Kelley and her husband Scott, a surgeon, have also had to grapple with financial problems. They have been sued at least nine times. Court records indicate that the Kelleys owe more than $2 million on an office building and face foreclosure.

Natalie Khawam, who now lives with her sister and brother-in-law in Tampa, is deeply in debt and filed for bankruptcy in Florida in April 2012. In a document filed to the Tampa Division of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Khawam listed her personal property which included six Chanel purses, a Cartier watch, and a trove of diamond jewelry valued at $50,000, including the watch. The items are in the possession of Khawam's ex-husband Grayson Wolfe, according to the court documents.

She has also been embroiled in a child custody battle with Wolfe. Petraeus and Allen both wrote letters to the court on Khawam's behalf.

In Sept. 2012, Petraeus wrote a letter to the District of Columbia Superior Court stating that he and his wife had known Khawam for about three years, getting to know her while serving in Tampa, and maintaining their friendship since then.

"We have seen a very loving relationship -- a Mother working hard to provide her son enjoyable, educational, and developmental experiences," Petraeus wrote, according to a copy of the letter posted on Scribd. "Natalie clearly dotes on her son and goes to great lengths -- and great expense -- to spend quality time with him."

Allen's letter to the court also painted a portrait of a loving and devoted mother who "places the needs of her son above her own."

"In light of Natalie's maturity, integrity and steadfast commitment to raising her child, I humbly request your reconsideration of the existing mandated custody settlement," Allen wrote.

The Kelley family has hired attorney Abbe Lowell, who represented John Edwards, and crisis manager Judy Smith, who worked for Monica Lewinsky.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov132012

Gen. John Allen Under Investigation for Emails to Petraeus' Friend

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Gen. John Allen, the commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, is under investigation for alleged "inappropriate communications" with Jill Kelley, the woman who is said to have received threatening emails from Paula Broadwell, the woman with whom former CIA Director David Petraeus had an extramarital affair.

The FBI has uncovered "potentially inappropriate" emails between Allen and Kelly, according to a senior U.S. defense official who is traveling with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.  The department is currently reviewing between 20,000 and 30,000 documents connected to this matter, the official said.  The email exchanges between Kelley and Allen took place from 2010 to 2012.

Panetta says the FBI referred the matter to the Pentagon on Sunday, according to a written statement released Tuesday while en route to Perth, Australia.  Panetta says he ordered the Pentagon Inspector General to investigate Allen on Monday.

Allen disputes that he has engaged in any wrongdoing in this matter, according to the official.

Allen, a four-star Marine general, succeeded Petraeus as the top American commander in Afghanistan in July 2011.

In the meantime, Panetta said, Allen's nomination to be the next commander of U.S. European Command and the commander of NATO forces in Europe has been put on hold "until the relevant facts are determined."  He had been expected to take that new post in early 2013, if confirmed by the Senate, as had been widely expected.

Allen was supposed to appear before a Senate confirmation hearing this Thursday alongside his designated replacement, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford.  Panetta has asked the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing to delay Allen's hearing, but proceed with Dunford's nomination.

Panetta said President Obama has agreed to put Allen's nomination on hold until the relevant facts are determined.  Panetta said that while the matter is being investigated by the Defense Department Inspector General, Allen will remain in his post as commander of the International Security Assistance Force, based in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The senior Defense official said, "We'll have to let the process follow its course.  As I said, and you'll see in the secretary's statement, we believe that Gen. Allen is entitled to due process.  We need to see where the facts lead in this matter before jumping to any conclusions whatsoever."

The official added, "We're in the very early stages of reviewing the documents right now.  This matter has been referred to the IG, the IG will do a thorough investigation of the documents."

Kelley is said to have received threatening emails from Broadwell, who is Petraeus' biographer and who had an extramarital affair with Petraeus that reportedly began two months after he became CIA director in September 2011.

Petraeus resigned as CIA director last Friday, citing the affair as his reason for stepping down from his post.

FBI agents were at the Broadwell home in North Carolina Monday night to carry out a consensual search that had been arranged with her lawyers, law enforcement sources said.  The search was to locate additional classified material on computers or documents in the home, according to the sources.

Broadwell appears to be cooperating with investigators in an effort to make this go away, to show that she has nothing else to hide, the sources said.

Petraeus could possibly face military prosecution for adultery if officials turn up any evidence to counter his apparent claims that the affair began after he left the military.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov122012

Petraeus Affair: Woman Who Received Harassing Emails Identified

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Florida woman who received harassing emails from Paula Broadwell, spurring an FBI probe that ultimately uncovered Gen. David Petraeus' extramarital affair with his biographer and led to his resignation as director of the CIA, has been identified as Jill Kelley, a local concerned citizen who volunteers to help the military.

"We and our family have been friends with Gen. Petraeus and his family for over five years.  We respect his and his family's privacy and want the same for us and our three children," Kelley said in a statement.

A close friend of Petraeus said Kelley and her husband, who are both civilians but supporters of the military community, befriended the Petraeus' when the general was stationed in Florida.

The Kelleys spent Christmases in group settings with the Petraeus' and visited them in Washington D.C., where Kelley's sister and her son live.

"It is very clear there was nothing going on other than friendship" between Kelley and Petraeus, the close friend told ABC News.

The saga, which would ultimately end the public service career of one of the most respected military minds of this generation, began when harassing emails were sent to Kelley, who in turn, notified the FBI.

The emails were traced to Broadwell's inbox, where investigators are said to have found intimate emails that indicated Petraeus was having an extramarital affair with his biographer.

Investigators uncovered no compromising of classified information or criminal activity, sources familiar with the probe said, adding that all that was found was a lot of "human drama."

The affair between Gen. Petraeus and Broadwell, both of whom are married, began several months after his retirement from the army in August 2011 and ended four months ago, retired U.S. Army Col. Steve Boylan, who is a former Petraeus spokesperson, told ABC News.

"He hugely regrets what happened," Boylan said.  "He pretty much threw away the best job he ever had and put his family through something just too hard to describe."

Petraeus is said to have been the one to have broken off the extramarital affair.

The 60-year-old's storied career, first as the public face of two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and later as director of the CIA, came crashing down on Friday when he announced his resignation from the intelligence agency, citing the indiscretion.

"After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair.  Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours," Petraeus said in a statement on Friday.

Petraeus and his wife Holly, who have been married for more than 37 years, are said to be staying in their Arlington, Va., home and are doing "OK."

"Knowing the family, I suspect it will be hard work, but given the effort they will get through it," Boylan said.

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