The woman who unwittingly brought down General David Petraeus has broken her silence to reject “outrageous” claims that she exchanged 30,000 emails with a second top officer.
In her first interview since the scandal broke in November 2012, Jill Kelley, a Tampa socialite, denied an affair with General John Allen, the US commander in Afghanistan, who was cleared of misconduct on Tuesday by the Pentagon over the emails. The White House today confirmed that it would go ahead with the nomination of Gen Allen as Nato commander in Europe.
Speaking to The Daily Beast, Ms Kelley, 37, said the sequence of events that eventually led to General Petraeus resigning as director of the CIA began with an anonymous email, sent last summer to a Yahoo account that she shared with her husband, Scott. The email “terrified” Ms Kelley, and was followed by up to 10 more messages, containing “blackmail, extortion, threats”.
The emails, it emerged, had been written by Paula Broadwell, General Petraeus’s biographer and lover, who had grown jealous of his friendship with Ms Kelley.