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Petraeus scandal: Tampa socialite sues FBI, Pentagon

June 4, 2013 at 3:00 AM

WASHINGTON, June 4 (UPI) -- Tampa, Fla., socialite Jill Kelley says in a lawsuit the government knowingly libeled her in the affair that led to David Petraeus' resignation as CIA director.

Kelley and her husband, Scott Kelley, allege in a 65-page complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Washington the FBI, the Pentagon and unidentified government officials "willfully leaked damaging, false information" about them to the media, disregarding and violating the couple's privacy.

Kelley, whose complaint to an FBI investigator of harassing emails sent by an anonymous woman eventually led to the uncovering of Petraeus' affair with journalist Paula Broadwell, was also named when the Petraeus scandal widened and the Pentagon investigated emails between Kelley and U.S. Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen in a search for possible "inappropriate communication" between the two married people.

Petraeus, who is also married, resigned Nov. 9, 2012. Allen was cleared in a misconduct inquiry Jan. 22.

"Today is an unforgettable day," Jill Kelley said in a statement Monday, "because one year ago threatening emails shook my life, and ultimately changed our country's leadership.

"It was under the faithful direction of our concerned military leaders, that I went to the law enforcement to seek the proper protection for my family, our commanders and top U.S. officials," she said.

"But unfortunately, we did not receive the confidentiality and protection," she said. "Instead we received highly hurtful and damaging publicity from willful leaks from high-level government officials that were false and defamatory.

"In addition, we also learned that our personal emails were wrongfully searched, and improperly disclosed," she said.

The FBI, Pentagon and Justice Department had no immediate comment.

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