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Jill Kelley

Jill Kelley (born June 3, 1975) is a philanthropist[3], a former South Korean Honorary Consul [4] and a former ceremonial diplomatic liaison to General James Mattis at United States Central Command.[5] In 2012, her complaint of harassing emails she received led to FBI's discovery of CIA director General David Petraeus's extramarital affair[6]

Jill Kelley
Jill & Scott Kelley.jpg
Jill and Dr. Scott Kelley
Jill Gilberte Khawam

(1975-06-03) June 3, 1975 (age 43)
OccupationDiplomatic Advisor, Activist[1][2]
Spouse(s)Scott Kelley


Early life and marriage

Kelley was born in Beirut, Lebanon[7] on June 3, 1975. Her family includes her identical twin sister, attorney Natalie Khawam;[8] a brother, attorney David Khawam; and sister, Caroline.[9] Jill's parents[10] are Catholics who immigrated to the United States from Beirut, Lebanon in the mid-1970s.[11] Kelley lived in the Philadelphia area until her mid-20s, where she was nicknamed Gigi.[12][13] After receiving an undergraduate degree at Beaver College, she conducted medical research at the University of Pennsylvania and took medical courses at Hahnemann University Hospital.[14]

In 1999, Kelley married cancer surgeon Dr. Scott Kelley whom she met when she was publishing medical research at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Kelley completed his undergraduate degree at Dartmouth College, attended Columbia University Medical School, and completed surgical residency at the University of Pennsylvania.[12] Following their marriage, Jill Kelley discontinued her medical studies to move to Tampa with Dr. Kelley, and they subsequently had three children.[14]She is the inventor and owner of a number of biomedical patents that she developed while raising her children[15].

Personal life

As the Honorary Ambassador to United States Central Command's Coalition Forces, Kelley is known to be “connective tissue” to the Diplomatic world.[16] Diplomats used Kelley's connections with Central Command senior generals to secure briefings for visiting foreign dignitaries.[17] Kelley was a regular on the DC diplomatic circuit and frequently attended embassy events.[18] She was known to be the go-between for Lebanese and other Middle Eastern government officials. She was active with dignitaries from the region and invited to functions at various embassies in Washington.[18]

In March 2011, she received the Joint Chiefs of Staff Award for public service for "building positive relationships between the military and the Tampa community".[19]

Privacy advocacy

In May 2012, Kelley issued a complaint to the FBI over a series of anonymous stalking e-mails she had received.[20] The threatening emails were traced to Paula Broadwell, the biographer who had an affair with General David Petraeus. Kelley became a focus of media coverage when her name was leaked, tying her to the FBI investigation.[21] On June 3, 2013, Kelley filed a privacy lawsuit against the federal government alleging government officials violated her privacy rights by maliciously leaking her name and unlawfully searching her personal email communications.[22] In November 2013, Kelley described herself as the "human face" of the damage that can be caused by abusive government probing into personal emails and communications of law-abiding citizens.[23]

In 2014, she received the support of two U.S. Congressmen to advocate for stronger privacy rights using her story to "bring awareness to the damages that can be caused by government overreach and unwarranted searches of emails [24][25] so that history will not repeat itself, and this never happens to another innocent family again."[26] She has since become a privacy rights advocate and activist for internet security. Her memoir, Collateral Damage: Petraeus, Power, Politics and the Abuse of Privacy[27][28][29] seeks to bring awareness to the damages that can be caused by government overreach and unwarranted searches.[24][25]

In 2016, Yale University invited Kelley to give a speech on privacy rights and Internet security, and reform and stronger protection on electronic communications.[30] [31] The New York Times alluded to Jill Kelley as "An Apostle for Privacy".[32] In 2017, it was reported that the story about Jill Kelley's life will be produced into a major Hollywood film[citation needed].

E-mail investigation

In May 2012, Kelley complained to an FBI investigator of harassing e-mails sent by an anonymous person. In her communication with the FBI, Kelley stated that the e-mails appeared to be an attempt to blackmail General Petraeus. After the threats increased, and included her family's whereabouts, Kelley filed an official report with the FBI in June 2012. The stalker was reported to be Paula Broadwell, mistress of David Petraeus.[33][34] During the course of the criminal investigation, government officials disclosed Kelley's name as the victim to the Washington Post, along with the evidentiary emails she provided to the FBI.[35] It was followed by revelations that FBI agents searched "years" of Kelley's personal e-mails not pertinent or relevant to the case,[36] which was followed by false descriptions of her personal emails by a series of hints to the press about emails between U.S.’s top commander in Afghanistan, General John R. Allen.[37] The accusations sparked an investigation by the Department of Defense, in which the Inspector General's report concluded the government leaks and accusations were baseless and the email content was not improper.[38][39] Nonetheless the false accusations stated by government officials, made Kelley a near-daily feature of the media, creating a sideshow at her family's expense.[40] November 6th, 2013 Kelley penned an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal warning against government surveillance by describing herself as the "human face" of the damage that can be caused by government probing into Americans' personal communications. Since her story, she became an advocate for privacy rights to "prevent her unwarranted tragedy from ever happening to another innocent family." [41]

On June 3, 2013, Kelley filed a privacy lawsuit against the federal government [21] alleging that investigators violated her privacy rights by unlawfully searching her personal emails and disclosing false descriptions of the nature of her emails to the media.[42] In addition, she stated "false and untrue headlines, created a media sideshow" at her expense,[22] including being wrongly implicated in an extramarital affair between Petraeus and Broadwell. In November 2013, Kelley described herself as the "human face" of the damage that can be caused by government probing into communications of law-abiding citizens.[23] As a result of this incident, Kelley has become an advocate for internet privacy and security.[43] According to a lawsuit Kelley and her husband filed against the FBI, Department of Defense and other governmental agencies on June 3, 2013, "[b]y disclosing the contents of the Kelleys' emails, by either directly sharing contents of the emails or making statements suggesting that the content of the emails was lurid, government officials served Mrs. Kelley up on a platter to be devoured in a frenzy of salacious speculation regarding the nature of her relationship with Director Petraeus."[44]

Public life

Kelley and her husband have been active socialites in the Tampa area.[45][46][47] Kelley became a volunteer liaison to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.[48] Kelley and her husband were known for hosting cigar and caviar parties for military leaders at their home near the United States Central Command.[49]

In July 2013, she was sought out by an Afghan Parliament member to create a dialogue between his government and the U.S. around the possibility of the withdrawal of U.S. troops after 2014. In response to the request Kelley said, "I am honored to resume my focus to promote cross-cultural dialogue and global trust for a peaceful and strategic exit to help our U.S. and Coalition forces transition out of Afghanistan".[50]

Kelley is a former Honorary Consul for the Republic of Korea, a title she was given for her connections between high ranking US commanders and South Korean companies and government. Kelley has stated that she was inappropriately removed from the post because she was a figure in the Petraeus scandal.[51][52][53][54][55][56][57][58]


  1. ^ Ted Bridis (March 23, 2016). "Jill Kelley book: Petraeus admits he committed 'something terrible, dishonorable' in email". Stripes. Archived from the original on 27 March 2016. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Socialite Jill Kelley returns to public life after Petraeus scandal". Page Six. 2013-12-01. Retrieved 2018-10-15.
  4. ^ "Clinton advisor bashed Jill Kelley in newly released emails". December 1, 2015. Retrieved December 9, 2016.
  5. ^ Review, CIO. "US Military Ambassador Jill Kelley To Outline New Satellite Cybersecurity Venture at DC5G". CIOReview. Retrieved 2018-10-18.
  6. ^ "Jill Kelley: Tampa woman was hostess to the military". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  7. ^ Jill Kelley, key figure in Petraeus scandal, led lavish life Los Angeles Times November 14, 2012
  8. ^ Staff report (October 22, 1993). Philadelphia fans short on memory but long on faith. Philadelphia Inquirer
  9. ^ "Jill Kelley, woman who sparked Petraeus probe, has Philadelphia roots -". 2012-11-12. Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  10. ^ CTV News, "CTV National News" airdate November 13, 2012
  11. ^ Leger, Donna Leinwand (November 12, 2012) Jill Kelley ID'd as woman who sparked Petraeus inquiry. USA Today
  12. ^ a b Ward, Vicky (March 2013). "Jill Kelley and Natalie Khawam History - Tampa Society Scandal". Town & Country Magazine. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  13. ^ Laker, Barbara (November 12, 2012). Petraeus email trail has Philly link.
  14. ^ a b Mrs. Gilberte Jill Kelley; Scott Kelley, M.D. (3 June 2013). "Verified Complaint and Demand for Jury Trial v. FBI" (PDF). Case 1:13-cv-00825 Document 1. United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  15. ^ "Jill Kelley - Patents".
  16. ^ "Jill Kelley: Tampa woman was hostess to the military". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  17. ^ "Jill Kelley: Tampa woman was hostess to the military". The Washington Post. 2011-02-25. Retrieved 2014-04-14.
  18. ^ a b 11/13/12 6:38pm 11/13/12 6:38pm (2012-11-13). "Petraeus' Pal Jill Kelley Loaned $800,000 to Her 'Unstable' Twin Sister". Archived from the original on January 15, 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-14.
  19. ^ Gregg Re (2012-11-22). "Jill Kelley was awarded Joint Chiefs' No. 2 civilian medal". The Daily Caller. Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  20. ^ Rosenberg, Ethan (September 25, 2013). "Obama Administration Seeks to Dismiss Jill Kelley Defamation Case". U.S. News and World Report.
  21. ^ a b "" (PDF). Retrieved December 9, 2016.
  22. ^ a b
  23. ^ a b Kelley, Jill (2013-11-05). "Jill Kelley: How the Government Spied on Me". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2014-01-27.
  24. ^ a b "2 congressmen have questions in Jill Kelley leak". The Big Story. Archived from the original on December 13, 2014. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
  25. ^ a b "Congressmen have questions for Holder in Jill Kelley leak". April 14, 2014. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
  26. ^ Jill Kelley. "I Lost My Privacy. Let's Act to Protect Yours". POLITICO Magazine. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
  27. ^ "CIA Director's Email: 'Something Terrible, Dishonorable'". AP. March 23, 2016. Retrieved December 9, 2016 – via The New York Times.
  28. ^ "Petraeus Scandal's Jill Kelley Becomes a Privacy Champion". Businessweek. 2014-01-07. Retrieved 2014-01-27.[permanent dead link]
  29. ^
  30. ^ "Jill Kelley to speak at Yale University student organization". Retrieved December 9, 2016.
  31. ^ Yale university: Archived September 21, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ Steinhauer, Jennifer (January 5, 2014). "From Petraeus Scandal, an Apostle for Privacy". The New York Times.
  33. ^ Yost, Pete (Sep 24, 2013). "Govt seeks dismissal of Petraeus-related lawsuit". Associated Press. Archived from the original on October 23, 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  34. ^ Howard Kurtz (August 20, 2013). "Petraeus mistress secretly followed Tampa socialite". Fox News. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  35. ^ Horwitz, Sari (2012-11-11). "FBI probe of Petraeus triggered by e-mail threats from biographer, officials say" (Mobile). The Washington Post. Retrieved 2014-01-27.
  36. ^
  37. ^ "Petraeus Scandal's Jill Kelley Becomes a Privacy Champion" (Mobile). Businessweek. 2014-01-07. Retrieved 2014-01-27.
  38. ^ "Feds won't revisit socialite Kelley's emails". The Tampa Tribune. 2013-07-03. Retrieved 2014-01-27.
  39. ^ Shanker, Thom (January 22, 2013). "Pentagon Clears Commander Over E-Mails". The New York Times.
  40. ^
  41. ^ Kelley, Jill (2013-11-05). "Jill Kelley: How the Government Spied on Me" (Mobile). Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2014-01-27.
  42. ^ Valentino, Jennifer (2013-06-03). "Woman in Petraeus Matter Files Lawsuit". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2014-01-27.
  43. ^ How to Save Privacy, by Petraeus Scandal Casualty Jill Kelley Bloomberg Businessweek April 12, 2013
  44. ^ "UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA" (PDF). The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  45. ^ Hooper, Ernest (January 7, 2003). Food and family, bringing in the greens. St. Petersburg Times
  46. ^ Keeler, Janet K. (January 15, 2003). Lights! Camera! Cook! St. Petersburg Times
  47. ^ Scourtes, Mary (January 15, 2003). Tasty Television. The Tampa Tribune
  48. ^ Petraeus friend Jill Kelley found place hosting military parties Tampa Bay Times November 13, 2012
  49. ^ Carol D. Leonnig (November 13, 2012), Jill Kelley: Tampa woman who was hostess to the military The Washington Post
  50. ^ "Altman: Afghan politician seeks Jill Kelley's help". Tampa Tribune. July 28, 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-06.
  51. ^ Jill Kelley and Scott Kelley (2013-01-22). "Jill Kelley on the Petraeus scandal and the loss of privacy". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2014-01-27.
  52. ^ "Petraeus Scandal: Socialite Jill Kelley Fighting Back". ABC News. 2012-11-27. Retrieved 2014-01-27.
  53. ^ "Petraeus scandal: Jill Kelley's South Korean link" (Mobile). Christian Science Monitor. 2012-11-15. Retrieved 2014-01-27.
  54. ^ "Honorary consuls: A booming trade". The Economist. 2013-08-31. Retrieved 2013-12-06.
  55. ^ "South Korea to sack Tampa socialite Jill Kelley as honorary consul". nbcnews. 2012-11-27. Retrieved 2013-12-06.
  56. ^ "David Petraeus: Jill Kelley ousted as honorary consul to South Korea". London: 2012-11-27. Retrieved 2013-12-06.
  57. ^ "Petraeus scandal figure to lose 'honorary consul' title, South Korean official says". CNN. 2012-11-26. Retrieved 2013-12-06.
  58. ^ "South Korea: Jill Kelley losing honorary consul title". CBS News. 2012-11-26. Retrieved 2013-12-06.