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Jill Kelley biography: Who is the woman who exchanged thousands of emails with General John Allen?

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Jill Kelley made headlines this week after it emerged that she was the target of harassing emails from Paula Broadwell, a 40-year-old mother of two who was engaged in a months-long affair with David Petraeus.

She has called police four times over the past two days to complain about reporters outside her home. In one call, Jill Kelley said she was an honorary consul general, adding: “I don’t know if you want to get diplomatic protection.”

Jill Kelley regularly kept in touch with then-General Petraeus when he became commander of the Afghan war effort, the two exchanging near-daily emails and instant messages, two of his former staffers say.

But those messages were exchanged in accounts that his aides monitored as part of their duties and were not romantic in tone, the staffers said.

Jill Kelley notified a friend of hers who worked for the FBI of the emails, and he referred the case to a cyber crimes unit.

That agent was later banned from the FBI’s investigation into the source of the emails when officials discovered that he was sending shirtless photographs to Jill Kelley and seemed to become “obsessed” with the case, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The FBI investigated her claims and traced the emails to an account set up by Paula Broadwell. As they looked into the account, they found she had exchanged intimate emails with a private Gmail account.

Further investigation revealed it belonged to David Petraeus, who was using an alias.

Jill Kelley made headlines this week after it emerged that she was the target of harassing emails from Paula Broadwell

Jill Kelley made headlines this week after it emerged that she was the target of harassing emails from Paula Broadwell

Jill Kelley, 37, is a volunteer who organizes social events for military families in the Tampa area.

Her husband, Dr. Scott Kelley, is a highly sought-after surgeon who specializes in a rare type of minimally invasive surgery to cure cancer of the esophagus.

Jill Kelley was a medical student at one point, but put her studies on hold to have a baby, according to 2003 story in the St. Petersburg Times.

She often hosts the events at her million-dollar home located only a couple of miles from MacDill Air Force base, where Allen served from July 2008 to June 2011.


Jill Kelley’s twin sister Natalie Khawam also makes the most of the parties, becoming close with major players, including both David Petraeus and John Allen, who wrote letters on her behalf as she battled her ex-husband for custody of her son, ABC reported.

A senior official told the Associated Press that 20,000 to 30,000 pages of emails and other documents from John Allen’s communications with Jill Kelley between 2010 and 2012 are under review.

A friend of the couple said Scott Kelley would not have know about the vast number of emails being exchanged by his wife and General John Allen.

“Knowing Scott, there is no way he would have approved of Jill sending so many emails to another man,” said the friend.

“What husband would be happy to see his wife sending so many different messages to another man, even if he is overseas and serving his country?”

Another friend, who has known Jill Kelley for almost a decade, added: “This has come as a complete shock. You never know what goes on behind closed doors, but no one in her circle saw this coming.

“Jill was well known for throwing parties where the military attended and she reveled in her role as honorary ambassador but sending all those emails to a general is another thing.”

Her brother, David Khawam, has also revealed their fear that she will be branded the “other woman”.

Speaking to the Today show, David Khawam said: “This is something that is going to brand her for life.

“My sister, number one, is a mother. She has three kids and is extremely dedicated to those kids.

“Number two she is a wife. She is extremely dedicated to her husband and he to her. For her to have an affair with General Petraeus is ludicrous.”

He added that he expected his sister, who has hired the crisis management firm employed by Monica Lewinsky and the attorney who represented John Edwards earlier this year, to address reports about her involvement with two of the top US military chiefs.