Jill Kelley Finally Speaks About Petraeus, Broadwell, and Blackmail

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In her first interview since the bottom of the David Petreaus scandal fell out, the "other other woman" Jill Kelley told The Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz that Paula Broadwell is one scary cyberbully; that those 30,000 e-mails with General John Allen were more like hundreds; and that she's sorta like ... Nancy Kerrigan.

The whole thing is pretty fascinating really, in part because we know so much about this woman, her email habits, and stuff like her mounting foreclosure, but we never really heard from this woman about the stuff we know. So what does she have to say?  

Well, she spills the beans on Broadwell's e-mails: 

Kelley says she was “terrified” late last summer when he told her about the email. In that note and the barrage that followed, “there was blackmail, extortion, threats,” Kelley told me in her first interview since the David Petraeus scandal erupted, breaking a silence of nearly three months.

From that account, you could see why Broadwell was being investigated for cyberstalking (the investigation was eventually dropped). And Kelley also takes the air out of the "30,000" emails with her other pen pal, General John Allen:

Kelley bristles at those eye-catching media reports that she and Allen exchanged as many as 30,000 emails, calling the figure “outrageous.” While Kelley will not provide an estimate, she says she believes the emails totaled in the hundreds.

Kurtz didn't get his hands on any of the emails. But perhaps Kurtz's best achievement is getting Kelley to compare her and Broadwell to Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding—which would make David Petraeus the gold medalist. (We think?):

Kelley adamantly refuses to characterize her feelings toward Broadwell, an academic and former Army officer. But she does not discourage a comparison of her plight to that of Nancy Kerrigan, the figure skater who had to withdraw from a national championship in 1994 after being clubbed in the knee with a tire iron. That, of course, would put Broadwell in the role of Tonya Harding, who helped cover up the attack. 

His other "scoop" was getting Kelley to admit that she doesn't like looking poor:

The press “made it look like I’m throwing parties yet I’m broke, made it look like we’re deadbeats,” Kelley says. “It’s offensive.”

Essentially, Kelley goes on to dispel everything you've heard about her and everything you thought you knew about her and this whole mess ... except for one thing. "This whole situation is just very sad," the South Tampa Kerrigan told Kurtz.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.