In the scandal that continues to read more and more like a Lifetime made-for-TV movie, the woman who sounded the alarm that led to the resignation of former CIA Director David Petraeus over an extramarital affair has been identified as a volunteer State Department military liaison.
Jill Kelley, reportedly a close friend of Petraeus, alerted the FBI when she received harassing emails from Petraeus’ mistress, his biographer Paula Broadwell, the Associated Press revealed Sunday.
The Tampa, Florida native is an unpaid social liaison to the military’s Joint Special Operations Command with no official government employment, according to the AP.
Watch a CBS News report on the scandal:
“We and our family have been friends with Gen. Petraeus and his family for over five years. We respect his and his family’s privacy and want the same for us and our three children,” Kelley said in a statement reported by ABC News.
A close friend of Petraeus told ABC that Kelley, 37, and her husband befriended the retired four-star general when he was stationed in Florida. The source speculated that there was never a romantic relationship between Kelley and Petraeus.
AP sources added that Kelley and her husband were longtime friends with both Petraeus and his wife, Holly, frequently attending events at Central Command headquarters when Petraeus was combatant commander there.
But Broadwell appeared to believe Petraeus’ relationship with Kelley was more intimate. She reportedly sent threatening emails to Kelley warning her to “stay away from” the now former CIA director and telling her, “I know what you did.”
The ensuing investigation into the threatening emails resulted in the revelation of Petraeus’ affair and thousands of emails to Broadwell from Petraeus, some with sexually explicit content. One, for instance, referenced “sex under a desk.”
According to the Post, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper advised Petraeus to resign last week. Clapper apparently did not see the case as a threat to national security, as he did not call for follow-up investigations or damage assessments.
“After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours,” he wrote.
President Barack Obama accepted his resignation Friday.
The retired general had been slated to testify before congressional hearings this week about the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya that killed four American diplomatic personnel, including U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens.