TAMPA, Fla. – CIA Director David Petraeus was shocked to learn last summer that his mistress was suspected of sending threatening emails warning another woman to stay away from him, former staff members and friends told the Associated Press on Monday.
Petraeus told these associates his relationship with the second woman, Tampa socialite Jill Kelley, was platonic, though his biographer-turned-lover Paula Broadwell apparently saw her as a romantic rival. Retired Gen. Petraeus also denied to these associates that he had given Broadwell any of the sensitive military information alleged to have been found on her computer, saying anything she had must have been provided by other commanders during reporting trips to Afghanistan.
The associates spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to publicly discuss the matters, which could be part of an FBI investigation.
Meanwhile, FBI agents appeared at Broadwell’s Charlotte, N.C., home Monday night and appeared to be conducting a search. An FBI spokeswoman confirmed the agents’ presence but did not say what they were doing.
Petraeus, who led U.S. military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, resigned his CIA post Friday, acknowledging his extramarital affair with Broadwell and expressing deep regret.
New details of the investigation that brought an end to his storied career emerged as President Barack Obama hunted for a new CIA director and members of Congress questioned why the monthslong probe was kept quiet for so long.
Kelley began receiving harassing emails in May, according to two federal law enforcement officials. They, too, spoke only on condition of anonymity. The emails led Kelley to report the matter, eventually triggering the investigation that led Petraeus to resign as head of the intelligence agency.
FBI agents traced the alleged cyber harassment to Broadwell, the officials said, and discovered she was exchanging intimate messages with a private Gmail account. Further investigation revealed the account belonged to Petraeus under an alias.
A Petraeus associate said the retired general was shocked to find out about Broadwell’s emails to Kelley. Petraeus was not shown the messages, but investigators told him the emails told Kelley to stay away.