Gilberte "Jill" Khawam Kelley is an American socialite and volunteer social liaison to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa Bay, Florida, who became a key figure in the 2012 United States government investigation into inappropriate communications by top U.S. Generals David Petraeus and John R. Allen.
Kelley is married to cancer surgeon Scott Kelley, and the two live with their three children in Tampa, Florida. Kelley and her husband have been active as socialites in the Tampa area, appearing in local society news items and making television appearances. KKelley became a volunteer social liaison to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa Bay, Florida. They frequently threw lavish parties for military leaders at their home near United States Central Command, a theater-level Unified Combatant Command of the U.S. Department of Defense established in 1983 and headquartered in Florida. Although she had no official status and was not employed by the U.S. government, she was given an appreciation certificate recognizing her as an "honorary ambassador" in Florida to the coalition of countries at the United States Central Command. Kelley also was made an honorary consul general for the Republic of Korea (South Korea) in August 2011, in thanks for her volunteer work with coalition troops. As such, she has "honorary consul" license plates on her vehicle which confer no special privileges
Jill Kelley was born Gilberte Khawam on January 1, 1975. Kelley's family, which includes an identical twin sister, Natalie Khawam, and a brother David Khawam, are Lebanese-American Maronite Catholics who immigrated to the United States from Jounieh, Lebanon in the mid-1970s. Kelley grew up in Voorhees, New Jersey and later Northeast Philadelphia, where her parents owned a restaurant. Kelley lived in the Philadelphia area until her mid-20s.
When Kelley's twin sister Natalie Khawam appealed a custody ruling in favor of her husband in 2012, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency David Petraeus and United States Marine Corps four-star general John R. Allen wrote letters to the judge in that custody case on official letterhead supporting Khawam. At around that time, both sisters faced separate personal financial problems due to an inability to pay their extensive debts.
In May 2012, Kelley complained to an FBI investigator of being sent harassing emails by an anonymous woman. The FBI investigator was discovered to be an acquaintance who at some point sent her topless photos of himself and was forced off the case for what was termed an obsessive pursuit that caused supervisors to question the investigator's objectivity. Kelley later asked to no avail for the investigation to be stopped citing concerns she and her family might also come under scrutiny. This set off a chain of events that eventually led to the resignation of the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, David Petraeus on November 9, 2012. The anonymous woman was identified as Petraeus biographer Paula Broadwell, who investigators discovered had been having an affair with Petraeus. During the course of that investigation, the FBI found that there were "thousands of emails" between Kelley and General John R. Allen, Petraeus's successor as top commander in Afghanistan. On November 13, 2012, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that the nomination of Gen. Allen for the post of Supreme Allied Commander Europe would be delayed. News agencies said Allen was being investigated based on allegedly "inappropriate communication" between Kelley and Allen that was "flirtatious in nature". ABC News reported on November 14 that Kelley's VIP privileges at nearby CENTCOM Headquarters on McDill Air Force Base,FL has been revoked due to the ongoing investigation. Investigative reporting also turned up financial difficulties and legalities concerning money spent in a now defunct charity Kelley and her husband founded. A bizarre 911 call was made concerning reporters camped out on her lawn where she appeared to assert some diplomatic status based upon honorary titles bestowed upon her last year for community work she completed. It was noted even her license plate appeared to have some reference to an honorary title. The state department issued a flat denial she had any connection to the diplomatic community.
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