The jealous mistress of disgraced CIA chief David Petraeus accused Jill Kelley of touching him provocatively under the table at a dinner, it has been reported.
But she made no "overt threats" and the FBI was initially unsure whether it warranted a full investigation, a source told the Daily Beast.
He described the emails as "kind of cat-fight stuff".
“More like, ‘Who do you think you are? … You parade around the base … You need to take it down a notch."
The details come as another top general, John Allen, is under investigation by the FBI for allegedly exchanging up to 30,000 emails with Kelley while he was in charge of US forces in Afghanistan.
Officials have asked the Senate to put on hold Allen's confirmation as a NATO's chief in Europe.
In the Broadwell and Kelley email exchange, Broadwell were sent them anonymously to an account shared by Mrs Kelley and her husband, Scott, a doctor.
More from GlobalPost: Petraeus reportedly told Paula Broadwell to stop harassing Jill Kelley
According to the Daily Beast, Kelley had no idea who was sending the emails, but asked the FBI to find out and stop them. Investigators eventually traced them to Broadwell.
Kelley said she has been friends with Petraeus and his wife, Holly, for five years, and released a statement stating asking for privacy.
The Huffington Post reported Petraeus has told friends he was shocked to find that Broadwell was suspected of sending anonymous, threatening emails to Kelley.