Tuesday 20 February 2018

Socialite threw parties for top brass

Jon Swaine in Tampa

THE twin Florida socialites at the centre of the David Petraeus affair gained intimate access to America's military and political elite through their high-rolling lifestyles even as they quietly racked up millions of dollars in debts and credit card bills.

Jill Kelley, whose complaint over threatening emails prompted the FBI inquiry that has ensnared two generals, is mired in lawsuits from a string of banks totalling $4m (€3.14m), court filings in Florida show.

Mrs Kelley's identical twin Natalie Khawam – who obtained testimonies to her good character from Mr Petraeus and Gen John Allen during her divorce – declared herself bankrupt this year with liabilities of $3.6m (€2.83m), filings show.

The 37-year-old sisters have emerged as central players in the saga gripping Washington's national security establishment since Mrs Kelley was named as the "second woman" allegedly harassed by jealous emails from Paula Broadwell, Mr Petraeus's biographer and mistress.

They also have direct links to Florida's highest political circles. Miss Khawam once dated Charlie Crist, the state's former governor, a Republican source said, while Pam Bondi, its attorney-general, attended a function at Mrs Kelley's home.

Mrs Kelley, an unpaid "social liaison" for the US military in Tampa, is said to have spared no expense at parties to honour top brass stationed at nearby US Central Command. She was pictured at one event at her mansion in 2010 with Mr Petraeus, who arrived in a 28-car motorcade. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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