Philly-bred Jill Kelley Finally Speaks Publicly About Petraeus Scandal

Jill Kelley, the Philly-bred Florida socialite who rocketed to infamy during the scandal that knocked David Petraeus from his perch at the top of the CIA, is finally speaking publicly about her version of events. Kelley says Paula Broadwell, Petraeus’s lover, did e-mail her with warnings to stay away from the former general—but Kelley says she had no designs on Petraeus, and had no idea the anonymous emails were from Broadwell:

Contradicting virtually every published account of the saga, Kelley indicates that the anonymous emails did not warn her to stay away from Petraeus, as is commonly assumed. And yet the press depicted the two of them as “romantic rivals. Think how bizarre that is,” Kelley says.

What has been lost in the lurid and sometimes mocking coverage is the toll the scandal has taken on Kelley, her husband, and their three young children.

The weekend after the story broke, Kelley was celebrating her daughter’s seventh birthday when she gazed out the window at the mess her life had become.

“It was devastating,” Kelley told me. “To have your privacy invaded is truly—there are no words to describe it. Instead of enjoying a family birthday party, I had paparazzi storming my front lawn, pushing down the door. There are no words to describe the panic and fear at that moment.”

Kelley made the comments during a two-hour interview with Daily Beast writer Howard Kurtz, her first public comments since the scandal broke. [The Daily Beast]