An oversized painted portrait of Florida socialite Jill Kelley and her surgeon husband Scott is hanging on the wall of their $1.3 million Bayshore Boulevard mansion.
The ostentatious gold-framed commission no doubt adorned the wall during one of Jill Kelley’s parties she famously hosted as an unpaid, unofficial social liaison for U.S. Central Command.
But appearances can be deceptive and the couple portrayed smiling widely have been sued for $4.1 million of debts and are, as we found out this month, at the centre of the biggest sex scandal to rock the U.S. in living memory.
Jill Kelley, a 37-year-old Florida housewife, unveiled the David Petraeus sex scandal when she contacted the FBI about harassing emails from his mistress Paula Broadwell.
After Jill Kelley contacted the FBI, agents launched a massive in-depth investigation into who was sending the emails because they shared this detailed information that was not publicly available.
The catty emails, which told Jill Kelley to “back off” from David Petraeus, were sent to Kelley from several fake email addresses.
In order to find who had confidential information about David Petraeus’ whereabouts, the FBI obtained an administrative subpoena, and traced them back to Paula Broadwell.
In the course of the investigation, they also unearthed emails indicating the affair between Paula Broadwell and David Petraeus, leading to his resignation earlier his month.
At her glamorous home the lawns are perfectly manicured – the residence has six bedrooms and four bathrooms for the hundreds of military guests who used to attend parties there.
A closer look, however, and you notice that the paint is peeling on the outside and wooden chairs at all rather too well worn.
Jill Kelley boasted about serving dinner to David Petraeus and his wife Holly in 2007.
Holly Petraeus and her husband were pictured next to the Kelleys and Jill Kelley’s twin sister, Natalie Khawam.
Each year Jill Kelley and her husband, Dr. Scott Kelley, host a party on their extensive manicured front lawn to celebrate the Gasparilla Festival in Tampa.
In 2010 General David Petraeus and his wife Holly attended the pirate themed festival staged at the Kelley’s home.
David Petraeus arrived with a 28 motorcycle escort and mingled with more than 200 guests who dined on crab cakes and lamb chops.
At this year’s Gasparilla festival, where pirate themed floats are driven through Tampa, the Kelley’s hosted military officers from 60 nations to a coalition appreciation party.
Tight security surrounded the Kelley’s home during the event.
One neighbor complained that it resulted in the street running alongside the Kelley’s red and white painted mansion being closed off to traffic for the day.
“You soon know when Jill is having a party It’s like having the president come to town as everything shuts down. There is security everywhere and you cannot move,” said one neighbor.
Jill Kelley, who said she has known General David Petraeus and his wife Holly for five years, has visited them in Washington DC. She is also reported to have been invited to a breakfast at the White House.
In recognition of her work with officials at CENTCOM, Jill Kelley was recently named as honorary consulate general to South Korea.