Florida Woman in Petraeus Scandal Lawyers Up

Jill Kelley was friends with the former CIA director

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 12, 2012 4:10 PM CST

(Newser) – The woman who reportedly received threatening emails from Paula Broadwell has lawyered up, and in a big way. Jill Kelley has hired Washington super-attorney Abbe Lowell and crisis manager Judy Smith—the equivalent of arming with a Howitzer and a jet fighter—even though the FBI says its investigation is over, Gawker reports. To put it in perspective: Smith's past clients include Kobe Bryant and Monica Lewinsky, and Lowell has represented Bill Clinton and John Edwards. You only hire Lowell "when you're seriously f--ked," quips Gawker.

Meanwhile, details are emerging on Kelley:

  • She's a Tampa, Fla., socialite and "unpaid social liaison" for the Joint Special Operations Command, reports the Daily Beast. The JSOC is a fairly mysterious part of the US military that includes the Navy SEALs, helps with counter-terrorism missions, and played a big role in the Benghazi investigation.
  • Kelley has three children, aged 4, 2, and 1. Her husband, Dr. Scott Kelley, is a widely respected doctor.
  • They were often guests at events held by Petraeus at MacDill Air Force Base, where he was stationed from 2008 to 2010, the AP reports. She considered Petraeus to be like a grandfather to her children, reports the Tampa Bay Times.
  • She likes entertaining at her grand, 5,000-square-foot home and usually dresses to the nines, reports GlobalPost. "At weekends while most women dress down and wear sweat pants and the like she will be fully made up and dressed as if she were going to a dinner," says a neighbor.
  • Petraeus was stunned to hear about the emails that Broadwell allegedly sent Kelley, and he insists his relationship with Kelley was purely platonic, friends and former staff tell the AP.
Click for more about the Petraeus affair.

Jill Kelley leaves her home Monday, Nov 12, 2012 in Tampa, Fla. Kelley is identified as the woman who allegedly received harassing emails from Gen. David Petraeus' paramour, Paula Broadwell.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Jill Kelley leaves her home Monday, Nov 12, 2012 in Tampa, Fla. Kelley is identified as the woman who allegedly received harassing emails from Gen. David Petraeus' paramour, Paula Broadwell.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
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