TAMPA, Fla. — When news vans camped outside her stately home, a Florida socialite tied to the Gen. David Petraeus sex scandal fell back on her informal credentials as a social ambassador for Tampa society and top military brass: She asked police for diplomatic protection.
In a phone call to authorities, Jill Kelley, a party hostess and unofficial social liaison for leaders of the U.S. military’s Central Command in Tampa, cited her status as an honorary consul general while complaining about media that had descended on her two-story, five-bedroom brick home overlooking Tampa Bay, which was purchased in 2004 for $1.5 million.
“You know, I don’t know if by any chance, because I’m an honorary consul general, so I have inviolability, so they should not be able to cross my property. I don’t know if you want to get diplomatic protection involved as well,” she told the 911 dispatcher Monday.
Nearly all lines in the tangled sex scandal involving Petraeus lead back to Kelley, whose complaint about anonymous, threatening emails triggered the FBI investigation that led to the general’s downfall as director of the CIA.
And now Kelley is in the middle of an investigation of the Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, over alleged “inappropriate communications” between the two.
Kelley’s friendship with Petraeus and his wife began when the general arrived in Tampa about 2008. Kelley and her husband, Scott, a cancer surgeon, had moved to the area a few years earlier and threw a welcome party at their home, a short distance from MacDill Air Force Base, where Central Command is headquartered.
Hundreds of pages of court documents in several lawsuits detail financial troubles for the Kelleys and Jill Kelley’s twin sister, Natalie Khawam, who lived with the couple.