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Socialite won’t press charges against Petraeus’s mistress

General Davis Petraeus and Paula Broadwell.


The woman caught up in the scandal that brought down CIA director David Petraeus said Tuesday she decided not to press charges against his mistress over allegedly threatening e-mails.

The scandal erupted last year after Jill Kelley, a wealthy Tampa socialite, complained to the FBI that she had received menacing e-mails from an anonymous sender.

The e-mails turned out to be from Paula Broadwell, an Army reservist who had written a glowing biography of Mr. Petraeus's tenure as a top military commander.

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Authorities then stumbled upon evidence of Ms. Broadwell's affair with Mr. Petraeus, as well as exchanges between Ms. Kelley and the four-star officer in charge of the war in Afghanistan, General John Allen. Ms. Kelley said the media frenzy over the case had been a nightmare for her family and denied she had any romantic relationship with Gen. Allen.

Although she alleged Ms. Broadwell's e-mails amounted to a bid to "blackmail" her, Ms. Kelley said she chose not to press charges against Mr. Petraeus's biographer.

In the e-mails sent by Ms. Broadwell, "there was blackmail, extortion, threats," Ms. Kelley told The Daily Beast's media reporter Howard Kurtz, in her first interview since the scandal broke. "I knew I was being stalked," she said. She declined to speculate on Ms. Broadwell's motives and also said she found media reports that the two were romantic rivals "bizarre."

But though she was frightened and turned to an FBI friend for help, she opted against pushing for charges against Ms. Broadwell. Ms. Kelley said she was concerned how the case would affect her friends and their families. "I just wanted to let them move on with their lives and not have to relive it," she said.

She also dismissed allegations she had exchanged thousands of e-mails with Gen. Allen. On Tuesday, a Defence Department investigation cleared Gen. Allen of engaging in inappropriate communications with a civilian.

But she declined to release the e-mails she exchanged with Gen. Allen.

Ms. Kelley, who is married to an oncologist in Tampa volunteered as a "social liaison" organizing events at nearby MacDill Air Force Base, home to U.S. Central Command.

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From October, 2008, until the summer of 2010, Mr. Petraeus was head of U.S. Central Command and the Petraeus and the Kelley families became friends.

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