Jill Kelley’ military access at Tampa base revoked during David Petraeus inquiry
Jill Kelley, the woman at the center of the David Petraeus sex scandal, is facing the prospect of being blackballed by the military establishment.
Jill Kelley, a 37-year-old Tampa socialite who hosted parties for the nation’s top brass, has been told today that she is no longer welcome at military HQ near her Florida home.
Her complaint over threatening emails triggered an FBI investigation that led to CIA director David Petraeus’ resignation when it came to light that he was having an affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell.
In an increasingly tangled sex scandal, Jill Kelley is now at the center of an investigation over alleged “inappropriate communications” between her and General John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.
Jill Kelley and her identical twin sister Natalie Khawam rose from humble beginnings as daughter of Lebanese immigrants in Pennsylvania, to prolific networkers on the Tampa social scene close to Central Command.
However, her role in a sex scandal that may have heavy repercussions for national security led to a military official calling Jill Kelley to revoke her access pass while an investigation into the 30,000 “flirtatious” emails is carried out.
Defence Secretary Leon Panetta ordered the inquiry while President Barack Obama has given his backing to Allen while the investigation takes place.
“She did have base access but does not currently because of her involvement in an ongoing investigation,” a military official told the Tampa Tribune.
Jill Kelley was a frequent visitor to the sprawling military base. The doctor’s wife courted four star generals and other senior military figures as an unpaid liaison officer – describing herself as an “honorary consul” of South Korea – a position she achieved one official said “last August thanks to her good connections and network”.
In fact, the position of honorary consul is symbolic and has no official duties. Jill Kelley held lavish parties at her $1.3 million home overlooking Tampa Bay where the General’s and their wives were feted.
Both generals, David Petraeus and John Allen, met Jill Kelley, who friends have described as a “ferocious social climber”, when they were in charge at U.S. Central Command in 2008.
Jill Kelley has refused to speak publicly about her involvement with David Petraeus, who turned 60 last week, and General John Allen.
John Allen, 58, has denied any wrongdoing and insisted his relationship with Jill Kelley was purely platonic.
Jill Kelley has remained at her colonial style mansion during the scandal, appearing briefly in bold designer dresses for the media who have gathered outside her home.
The mother-of-three has been bombarded with offers from TV networks to conduct a sit down chat about her relationship.
Jill Kelley is the most sought after person to be named in a Washington sex scandal since Monica Lewinsky and has hired a DC lawyer. A producer from CBS TV flew from New York to Jill Kelley’s Tampa home to drop off a request for a sit down.
The producer said the aim was to “get Kelley” to New York as the bids from other networks roll in.
Friends believe Jill Kelley will agree to talk – because she desperately needs the money.
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