The Petraeus Affair: How Jill Kelley Inadvertently Brought Down the CIA Director

The Petraeus Affair: How Jill Kelley Inadvertently Brought Down the CIA Director
Paula Broadwell

updated 11/19/2012 at 01:00 PM EST

originally published 11/21/2012 08:30AM

Exclusive excerpt from this week's PEOPLE Magazine:

Jill Kelley had e-mailed the Tampa mayor before: to invite him to parties; to tell him she had talked him up to her pal "Dave" Petraeus; to drop the name of Gen. John Allen. But this time it was personal.

On Nov. 14 she e-mailed Mayor Bob Buckhorn at 6:18 a.m. about the news crews camped outside her home: "To put insult to injury, your police dept. gave the local 911 tapes to the press! . . . I'm scared and cannot believe what my City – in which I have contributed so much of my love, time, money and leadership – has now done to me and my innocent family."

Buckhorn did nothing about Kelley's complaint and, asked by the Tampa Bay Times about the release of her embarrassing calls to police invoking "diplomatic protection" she's not entitled to, the mayor answered, "Public record."



For Kelley, 37 – an unpaid community liaison at MacDill Air Force Base, who placed herself at the nexus of Tampa's military-civilian circles since moving there with her husband, Scott, and twin, Natalie Khawam, a decade ago – the mayor's response was a sign that her fall was now going to be as steep and spectacular as her climb. 

As the world saw this week, she had a lot of company on the way down. By cozying up to two four-star generals – and then flaunting her access to them – Kelley inadvertently exposed a scandal that involves both Petraeus, who stepped down as head of the CIA after admitting an affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell, and Allen, whose promotion to head NATO forces in Europe is in limbo while what government officials describe as suggestive e-mails he wrote to Kelley are reviewed by the Defense Department.

  How did every thread in the web link back to a chatty, flirty mom of three in Florida? For military lifers like Petraeus and Allen stationed at Central Command in Tampa, the relative glitz Kelley and her sister brought proved enchanting. "Here's the thing about commanders: They can get isolated. It's nice to have civilian friends who support you and the mission," says an active duty Army community-outreach official. "Mostly it's a nice thing. This one backfired." ...

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