kunc-header-1440x90.png
Our Story Happens Here
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
NPR News

Petraeus Affair: Jill Kelley Says She And Paula Broadwell Weren't 'Romantic Rivals'

Jill Kelley outside her home in Tampa last November.
Jill Kelley outside her home in Tampa last November.

We're hearing for the first time today from one of the people caught up in the story that led to retired Gen. David Petraeus' resignation from the post of CIA director last November.

Jill Kelley, the Florida woman who got what she felt were threatening emails from Petraeus biographer Paula Broadwell — emails that led to an FBI investigation that exposed Petraeus' affair with Broadwell — has spoken with The Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz. Among the bits of news in Kurtz's account of their conversation:

"Contradicting virtually every published account of the saga, Kelley indicates that the anonymous emails did not warn her to stay away from Petraeus, as is commonly assumed. And yet the press depicted the two of them as 'romantic rivals. Think how bizarre that is,' Kelley says."

The ripple effects of the Petraeus affair also touched Gen. John Allen, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, when it was reported that he and Kelley had been in frequent contact. Kurtz writes that:

"Kelley, 37, would find herself the subject of fevered speculation that she was carrying on with [Allen] ... which she flatly denies. Allen also has denied wrongdoing. Kelley bristles at those eye-catching media reports that she and Allen exchanged as many as 30,000 emails, calling the figure 'outrageous.' While Kelley will not provide an estimate, she says she believes the emails totaled in the hundreds."

There's much more from Kelley in Kurtz's report. And there's this, from Clinton-era White House spokeswoman Dee Dee Myers, who represents Broadwell:

"The Justice Department thoroughly looked at [the emails] and declined to prosecute." That decision, says Myers, "makes a pretty bold statement about the content of the emails. ... People can make their own judgments based on that."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Related Content
  • Paula Broadwell, whose affair with retired Gen. David Petraeus led to his resignation from the post of CIA director, will not face federal charges related to the alleged cyberstalking of another woman, according to a letter sent by the Justice Department to Broadwell's attorney.
  • CIA Director David Petraeus' resignation after admitting an affair has been at the top of the news all week. Regardless of professional accolades, it's often a long road to recovery from such a public downfall, says Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of New York who himself resigned after a prostitution scandal.
  • Host Scott Simon speaks with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tim Weiner, who wrote two books on the security services, about the FBI's role in the investigation into generals David Petraeus and John Allen. Weiner says the one possible crime is the conduct of an FBI agent who brought information to Congress.