The Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz catches up with Kelley, who he calls an "unwilling celebrity" who is turning down Oprah and six-figure book deals because she wants to fade into obscurity. You'd think if Kelley would "want to put the controversy behind her" she would stop complaining about the media to one of the nation's biggest media reporters. Kurtz has been one of the Tampa socialite's go-to interviewers and he got the exclusive interview with Kelley back on January 22 — her first since the bottom fell out of the Love Pentagon scandal involving Paula Broadwell, and Generals David Petraeus and John Allen.
Kelley's latest comments came out (not) coincidentally on the same day that there is a report that her pen pal John Allen is considering retirement, mostly because of the emails she sent that dragged his name into the affair. Yet, Kelley can't seem to stop talking about her apparent desire to keep her name out of the press, despite everyone wanting a piece of her. Kurtz writes:
There was a $250,000 offer for an interview with a tabloid television show, Kelley says. Book publishers were proffered deals worth millions for the inside story of the David Petraeus scandal. There was even talk from publicists who she says approached her about a clothing line and a possible Super Bowl ad. She turned them all down.
That's some odd (humble?) bragging. Turning down lucrative book deals and refusing to sell out because you want to put the scandal behind you is sort of noble if ... you know, it weren't also splashed on the digital pages of The Daily Beast. "You might think the scandal’s half-life would be over by now. But for Kelley it remains a constant problem, with ordinary people taking her picture on the street," Kurtz writes.
Articles about what Kelley is up to and the book deals she's rejecting are sort of the reason why the scandal's half-life isn't over. Kurtz even admits that his first interview with Kelley was, according to her, the reason everyone came calling:
In the weeks since she sat down with The Daily Beast, Kelley says she has been deluged almost around the clock by calls and messages from television anchors, producers and bookers. Some are offering to fly her to New York and put her up in luxury accommodations for an extended period. She says Oprah, the morning show hosts and others have all made their pitches. But Kelley doesn’t want to be on TV.
It isn't just Kurtz feeding the fire, either. It was just on January 27 that Kelley was in The New Republic telling people that the e-mails between her and Allen were "flirtatious", even though a Pentagon inquiry cleared Allen of any wrong doing on January 22:
Don't get me wrong, some of them are flirtatious. I mean we never had an affair, but I guess at two in the morning, when he's e-mailing me, sometimes he'd be flirtatious.
Yet, Kelley says she wants to keep a low profile and wants the scandal to die. "It’s overwhelming ... but not as overwhelming as waking up and still reading another absurd article about me." Kelley told Kurtz, for another article about her.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.