Jill Kelley on Those Emails From Broadwell: 'Threats'

She speaks, for first time, to Daily Beast

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 22, 2013 7:26 AM CST

(Newser) – Today's buzziest interview is with Jill Kelley, the Florida socialite who factored into the David Petraeus-Paula Broadwell scandal in a big way. She talks, for the first time, to Howard Kurtz of the Daily Beast, in a two-hour interview peppered with words like "terrified" and "blackmail." Highlights:

  • Her husband actually first read the "anonymous" email from Broadwell. It seems the couple share a Yahoo account (Kelley, bizarrely, says she doesn't have one of her own), and she reports being "terrified" after husband Scott told her what the message contained.

  • So what did it, and following ones (a total of less than 10, per a source), contain? "Blackmail, extortion, threats."
  • Did she know the emails were sent by Broadwell? Nope. In fact, she didn't even realize they was penned by a female at first. Also, "I never met Paula in my life."
  • What did the media get wrong? The emails did not tell her to keep her hands off Petraeus, says Kelley, who is angry at being characterized as, in Kurtz's words, "the Other Other Woman."
  • What about her own messages, to Gen. John Allen? The reports that they exchanged some 30,000 messages are hogwash, she says. It was more like hundreds. As for reports they were inappropriate, Kelley doesn't have her own email account, remember? She sent them from the one she shares with her hubby, ergo, they weren't racy.
  • Kurtz's most dramatic lines: "She does not discourage a comparison of her plight to that of Nancy Kerrigan, the figure skater who had to withdraw from a national championship in 1994 after being clubbed in the knee with a tire iron. That, of course, would put Broadwell in the role of Tonya Harding."
Click for the full interview, which includes Kelley's explanation of why she didn't press charges.

This combo made from file photos shows Gen. David Petraeus' biographer and paramour Paula Broadwell, left, and Florida socialite Jill Kelley.   (WBT)
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