Holly Petraeus, wife of disgraced General David Petraeus, is so angry at his affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell that “furious would be an understatement”, a former spokesman for the ex-CIA boss has revealed.
Speaking to ABC News, Colonel Steven Boylan said Holly Petraeus, who has been married to the former general for 38 years, is “not exactly pleased right now”.
“Anyone put in that situation would probably agree,” he said.
“He deeply hurt the family.”
The heartbreak comes just one month after the couple appeared the picture of unity at the wedding of their daughter, Anne Petraeus, in an elegant ceremony in Berryville, Virginia.
Holly Petraeus’ first comments on the affair that dramatically forced her husband to quit his top role at the CIA on Friday also come as the family of his mistress spoke out about the relationship.
David Petraeus stood down after an FBI investigation into alleged email hacking by Paula Broadwell – a married mother-of-two and army veteran – revealed they had had an affair.
But Paula Broadwell’s father, Paul Kranz, said that he is standing by his daughter “100 per cent” – and expects more details into the affair will emerge, suggesting it was part of some cover up.
“This is about something else entirely, and the truth will come out,” Paul Kranz told the New York Daily News outside his home in Bismarck, North Dakota.
“There is a lot more that is going to come out. You wait and see. There’s a lot more here than meets the eye.”
He added: “I stand by my daughter. She is an exceptional person.”
Yet other members of Paula Broadwell’s family seemed much more shaken, revealing that they only learned of the alleged affair as they watched reports of David Petraeus’s dramatic resignation on Friday.
“They didn’t find out about the affair until they saw it on the news Friday night,” the grandmother of Paula Broadwell’s husband, Scott, added.
“Everyone’s reaction was shock. We were all shell-shocked.”
The grandmother, who would only identify herself by her first name, Sylvia, added Scott Broadwell’s parents “felt like the rug was pulled out from under them”.
In his ABC interview, Colonel Steven Boylan added that David Petraeus has also spoken about the affair.
“I’ve spoken to him [David Petraeus] several times over the weekend since it broke,” Steven Boylan said.
“He, first of all deeply regrets and knows how much pain this has caused his family.
“He had a huge job and he felt he was doing great work and that is all gone now. This all started about two months after he was in the CIA as the director and it also ended about four months ago.”
Asked how he could explain such behavior by David Petraeus, Steven Boylan said: “This was poor judgement on his part. It was a colossal mistake. He knows that, he’s acknowledged. It happened, he brought it out and took responsibility for that. Now he and his family are trying to move forward.”
Just last month, the Petraeus family had been the picture of unity at Anne’s wedding.
“When dinner was over, Holly and Dave were both beaming throughout their evening,” retired Gen. Jack Keane told the Washington Post.
“They made their own way around the room saying hello to their friends and relatives.”
The families’ comments come after more details surrounding David Petraeus’ resignation emerged this weekend.
It was revealed that his affair was exposed after another military employee, Jill Kelley, who was tipped off the FBI about threatening emails she was receiving from Paula Broadwell.
Jill Kelley, 37, of Tampa, Florida, is an unpaid social liaison officer to military headquarters in the city and has a longstanding friendship with David Petraeus.
Jill Kelley lives in a $1.4 million house with her husband Scott, a surgeon, and their three children, age nine, seven and six. She packed her bags and sped away from her lavish home on Sunday night after national news media descended on her upscale neighborhood.
She told FBI agents that Paula Broadwell sent her harassing emails telling her to “back off” David Petraeus.