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Jill Kelley, the socialite at the centre of the David Petraeus sex scandal who sent thousands of “inappropriate” emails to General John Allen, “flirted outrageously” with a string of military chiefs, a friend claimed today.

In a dramatic new twist in the David Petraeus sex scandal on Monday night, it emerged that General John Allen exchanged 20,000 to 30,000 messages – as many as 40 a day – with Jill Kelley, the woman who sparked the probe into the CIA boss.

Jill Kelley, an unpaid social liaison for the military in Tampa, tipped off the FBI about threatening emails from David Petraeus’ mistress, Paula Broadwell – exposing his affair and leading to his resignation.

General John Allen, who is married with two daughters and leads U.S. troops in Afghanistan, denies any wrongdoing. Officials claim his emails to Jill Kelley, who is also married with children, were simply friendly.

And Jill Kelley is clearly not shy of the extra media attention, as the glamorous socialite confidently strutted outside her home for the second day in a row today – while Paula Broadwell remains in hiding.

Jill Kelley, who kicked off an FBI probe into General David Petraeus, watches TV coverage of his affair with Paula Broadwell

Jill Kelley, who kicked off an FBI probe into General David Petraeus, watches TV coverage of his affair with Paula Broadwell

Paula Broadwell sent Jill Kelley half a dozen emails from anonymous accounts earlier this year warning Kelley to stay away from David Petraeus. In one, she accused Jill Kelley of groping the CIA boss under the table.

She also accused Jill Kelley of “parad[ing] around the base”, adding: “You need to take it down a notch” and “Who do you think you are?”

A friend today described how Jill Kelley would “flirt outrageously” with senior military figures invited to parties at her $1.3 million mansion, saying: “She was a very sexy lady and she knows it.”

“She always looks a million dollars in her designer dresses and heels. She turns heads,” said the friend, who did not wish to be named but has attended numerous parties at her home.

“At the parties she would flirt with all the senior military guys. She’s touchy feel-y. Her hands would be on their arms. She was attentive. It’s not hard to see why she had some guys under her spell.”

A top U.S. official revealed that some of the emails exchanged between Jill Kelley and John Allen from 2010 until 2012 were “flirtatious”.

John Allen, 58, succeeded David Petraeus in Afghanistan and was due to take over as NATO’s top commander – but his appointment has been suspended while his relationship with Jill Kelley is investigated.

If General John Allen is found to have engaged in an extramarital affair – a crime in the military – he faces being court martialed, bringing a spectacular fall from grace and the end to a glittering army career that has spanned nearly 40 years. He has denied any wrongdoing.