Jill Kelley, Florida socialite at the centre of the David Petraeus sex scandal, has spoken for the first time and said she is an “innocent victim”.
Jill Kelley said: “I’ve done nothing wrong. I am the victim here. But it still feels awful.”
She has been called “the other woman” in the affair leading to speculation she was romantically involved with the former CIA chief.
Jill Kelley tipped off FBI agents about the affair when she handed over a series of anonymous emails sent by Paula Broadwell warning her to stay away from David Petraeus in the summer.
The 37-year-old spoke with her brother, a lawyer, as her name first became linked to the resignation of David Petraeus.
David Khawan told the Washington Post his sister telephoned him on Sunday and told him to switch on the TV because her name was all over news broadcasts.
He said his sister told him she was totally innocent and was not the “other woman” in David Petraeus’s life.
David Khawan is quoted as saying his sister said: “I’ve done nothing wrong. I am the victim here. But it still feels awful.”
Friends of Jill Kelley, a vivacious Lebanese-born mother of three known for her love of expensive designer dresses, said that she is devoted to her family and scoffed at suggestions that she was romantically involved with David Petraeus.
“This other woman obviously read all the signs wrong,” said a friend who knows Jill Kelley from their children’s private school.
“Jill is very attractive and can be touchy-feely. That’s just the way she is and there is nothing else.”
Jill Kelley, a well known figure on the social scene in her hometown of Tampa, Florida, has hired a crisis management firm and top lawyer since being linked to the scandal.
This has led to speculation that further damaging details could be revealed in the fall out from David Petraeus’s resignation.
Sources have revealed that the emails she received from Paula Broadwell were “kind of cat-fight stuff”.
Jill Kelley went to the FBI with the emails – and triggered the investigation that led to the downfall of David Petraeus and his shock resignation as CIA chief.
The source told The Daily Beast the emails were: “More like, <<Who do you think you are? … You parade around the base … You need to take it down a notch.>>”
The Wall Street Journal reported that in one of the emails Paula Broadwell asked Jill Kelley if her husband was aware of her actions.
Another accused Jill Kelley of touching David Petraeus provocatively under a table.
The source also said Jill Kelley would often accompany David Petraeus’s wife Holly on shopping trips to the International Mall in Tampa.
Jill Kelley, whose husband is a top cancer surgeon, has dodged questions from the media.
Before leaving her home she called police to the $1.3 million mansion to ask media to respect her privacy.
Jill Kelley left the home in a silver Mercedes with the registration plate “Honorary Consul” – a nod to her work as an unpaid liaison officer for the military headquarters at MacDill Airforce Base.
It was during David Petraeus’s two years in Tampa at the CENTCOM headquarters that he became friends with Jill Kelley and her husband Scott.
The friendship continued after the general left Tampa with the Kelley’s visiting the Petraeus’s home in Washington DC.