Natalie Khawam, the twin sister of Jill Kelley, the Petraeus sex scandal whistle blower and now alleged “sweetheart” of General John Allen, is the latest person to be named in the saga, after it emerged both men wrote a letter to help her in a nasty custody battle with her ex-husband.
Divorced mother-of-one Natalie Khawam, 37, lives in the same $1.3 million house in Tampa, Florida, as her sister Jill Kelley and cancer surgeon husband Scott.
It emerged today that Generals David Petraeus and John Allen wrote letters supporting the child-custody battle between Natalie Khawam – who was described as being “psychologically unstable” – and her ex-husband Grayson Wolfe.
The New York Post reported David Petraeus wrote the letter just two months ago, supporting a motion to overturn a ruling made almost a year earlier by a judge.
At this time, the judge resoundingly denied custody to Natalie Khawam, saying he had serious concerns and reservations over her mental stability and her grasp on reality.
He also cited her with “outrageous conduct”, “bad faith litigation tactics”, and “illogical thinking” before awarding full custody to the father, Grayson Wolfe – who had been unable to see his child for more than a year.
According to court documents, David Petraeus wrote in the September 20 letter to the DC judge: “My wife and I have known Natalie for approximately three years, getting to know her while serving in Tampa, Florida, through our friendship with Dr. and Mrs. Scott Kelley.
“It is clear to me that [child’s name] would benefit from much more time with his Mother and from removal of the burdensome restrictions imposed on her when she does get to spend time with him.”
David Petraeus added that he had observed Natalie Khawam and her son, “including when we hosted them and the Kelley family for Christmas dinner this past year. In each case, we have seen a very loving relationship – a mother working hard to provide her son enjoyable, educational and developmental experiences”.
A separate letter from General John Allen, the top commander in Afghanistan, dated two days later said: “Natalie clearly loves [child’s name] and cherishes each and every opportunity she has to spend time with him. She is a dedicated mother.
“In light of Natalie’s maturity, integrity and steadfast commitment to raising her child, I humbly request your reconsideration of the existing mandated custody settlement.”
John Allen said he got to observe the mother and child “at command social functions”.
He is currently under investigation by the FBI after the agency discovered between 20,000 and 30,000 pages of communication between him and Jill Kelley.
According to the New York Post, a judge in November 2011 gave Grayson Wolfe sole custody of the couple’s son after finding that Natalie Khawam, a lawyer, repeatedly lied under oath and filed false domestic-violence and child-abuse claims against her husband.
Natalie Khawam was also accused of defying court orders to allow her estranged husband Grayson Wolfe access to their son and sent emails to his friends and colleagues telling them he was a “horrible father and husband”.
She was reprimanded for giving false evidence and a psychiatrist found the allegations against her ex-husband were a “part of an ever-expanding set of sensational accusations…that are so numerous, so extraordinary and so distorted that they defy any common-sense view of reality”.
But Natalie Khawam’s troubles don’t just end there. She is also currently being sued in Montgomery County for failing to pay the lawyer’s fees in her divorce – believed to be in the region of $100,000.
The case has been on the court docket for nearly a-year-and-a-half but took a backward step in April when she filed for bankruptcy.
On the bankruptcy filing, Natalie Khawam lists $3.2 million in unpaid debt, plus $53,000 she owes the Internal Revenue Service.
Earlier this year, Natalie Khawam’s former employer, prominent Tampa Bay lawyer Barry Cohen, claimed that she “fraudulently omitted Rolex watches, sable mink furs and a diamond ring” from her list of assets in the April bankruptcy.
In July of this year, Natalie Khawam and her attorney Will Florin sued Barry Cohen on six counts including sexual harassment and breach of contract claims.
Natalie Khawam said that Barry Cohen owed her money and failed to properly take action when she reported a sexual harassment issue involving a financial officer doing work for the law firm.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Barry Cohen is trying to dismiss the case and is fighting back with claims of perjury and bankruptcy fraud against Natalie Khawam.
He told the paper he has been delving into her background ever since the filing and, as well as discovering the bankruptcy documents, he found the 19-page child custody order from the Washington DC, superior court judge calling Natalie Khawam out in 2011 for a lengthy “history of abusing the litigation process” and a “willingness to say anything, even under oath, to advance her own personal interests”.
Barry Cohen said in August the lawsuit has only further inspired him to continue advocating for his own clients.
“It takes a long time to build a good reputation, and it only takes a one accusation to tear it down,” Barry Cohen said.
“What this did was re-inspire me to protect the people I protect. It makes me able to better empathize when they’re falsely accused and gives me more motivation because I’ve been there.”