Petraeus biographer: devastated by affair fallout

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Associated Press

Posted on November 19, 2012 at 10:03 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The biographer of retired U.S. Gen. David Petraeus is telling friends she is devastated by the fallout from her extramarital affair with him, which led to his resignation as head of the CIA.

A person close to Paula Broadwell said Sunday that Broadwell deeply regrets the damage that's been done to her family and others, and she is trying to repair that and move forward. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

A group of friends and neighbors welcomed Broadwell, her husband, Scott, and their young sons back to their North Carolina home after Broadwell spent more than a week being hounded by media while staying at her brother's home in Washington. The family associate said she was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.

While Petraeus has given one interview and communicated his regret over the affair through friends and associates, this is one of the first messages to the public from Broadwell.

Broadwell is still being investigated by the FBI over classified documents found on her laptop and in her home, which investigators believe she gathered while researching her biography of Petraeus in Afghanistan. Investigators say many of the documents are old and may no longer be classified despite their labels, and they say Broadwell told them she did not get them from Petraeus.

The FBI stumbled onto their relationship after tracking anonymous emails Broadwell allegedly sent to Florida socialite Jill Kelley, warning Kelley to stay away from Petraeus and Afghanistan war commander Gen. John Allen.

Kelley served as sort of an unpaid social liaison for the U.S. Central Command, hosting parties at her and her husband's home. Officials say Kelley kept in close contact with Allen, and Petraeus before him, apparently trading on her friendship with the four-star generals to advance her social status.

The scandal widened when the Pentagon announced it was looking into that copious correspondence between Kelley and Allen for possible evidence of an inappropriate relationship. Both are married. Allen's nomination to lead the U.S. European Command has been put on hold, pending results of the investigation, though officials now concede that only a handful of the emails between Kelley and Allen are of a flirtatious or questionable nature.

The FBI found no reason to further investigate Petraeus, but the CIA is investigating whether the former director behaved inappropriately, such as possibly using agency resources to further the affair.

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