Jill Kelley on Petraeus scandal: ‘There was blackmail’


Jill Kelley, the Tampa socialite, enjoyed rubbing shoulders with top military brass.


Screen shot from MSNBC

Jill Kelley, the Florida socialite who was involved in the scandal that led to the resignation of Gen. David Petraeus as CIA Director, said Paula Broadwell tried to "blackmail" her.

In an interview with The Daily Beast, Kelley said “there was blackmail, extortion, threats.”

Kelley said she was “terrified” by a number of anonymous emails she and her husband, Scott, had received and had no idea that they were from Paula Broadwell, Petraeus' biographer and former mistress.

“I never met Paula in my life,” Kelley said.

Kelley told The Daily Beast the emails, which were "fewer than 10" did not, in fact, tell Kelley to "stay away from Petraeus" as was previously reported.

As NBC News reported, Kelley said "I knew I was being stalked... I did what anybody else would have done when they were feeling threatened, to go seek protection from somebody I could trust."

At that point, Kelley went to the FBI which opened an investigation that discovered Broadwell had sent the emails and was also having an affair with Petraeus.

The investigation also revealed Kelley exchanged numerous emails with US Marine Gen. John Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

In her interview with The Daily Beast, Kelley denied having an affair with Allen and said media reports were incorrect.

She told website that she and Allen did not exchange some 30,000 emails as previously reported and called the figure “outrageous.” Instead, she claimed their email exchange was in the hundreds.

More from GlobalPost: Gen. John Allen cleared by Pentagon over e-mails with Jill Kelley, Tampa socialite

Allen has been cleared of all charges by the Pentagon over those e-mail exchanges afte an investigation by the Pentagon's inspector general's office, according to USA Today.