Gilberte "Jill" Khawam Kelley (born June 3, 1975) is a Lebanese-American socialite in Tampa, Florida, who became a key figure in the 2012 United States government investigation into inappropriate communications by top U.S. generals D/CIA David Petraeus and ISAF Commander John R. Allen. In January 2013 General Allen was cleared by the Department of Defense Inspector General of all allegations involving Kelley stating that the claims against Allen were "unsubstantiated.”
Jill Kelley was born Gilberte Khawam in Beirut, Lebanon on June 3, 1975. Kelley's family, includes her identical twin sister, Natalie Khawam, a brother David Khawam, and sister Caroline. Jill's parents are Lebanese-American Maronite Catholics who immigrated to the United States from Jounieh, Lebanon in the mid-1970s. Kelley grew up in suburban Philadelphia, where her parents owned a restaurant. Kelley lived in the Philadelphia area until her mid-20s. Kelley attended Beaver College and received graduate degrees from Temple University and Georgetown University Law School.
Kelley is married to cancer surgeon Dr. Scott Kelley, and the two live with their three children in Tampa, Florida. In March of 2011 she received the Joint Chief of Staff Award for public service for "building positive relationships between the military and the Tampa community". In May 2012, Kelley complained to an FBI investigator of being sent harassing emails by an anonymous woman. 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. In early November, Kelley hired Abbe Lowell and Judy Smith for assistance.
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 security clearance at nearby CENTCOM Headquarters had been revoked. On January 22, 2013, General Allen was cleared of inappropriate communication with Mrs. Kelley in a misconduct inquiry.
Kelley called 911 several times, she attempted to invoke diplomatic immunity. She told the dispatcher “I am an honorary consul general, so I have inviolability." Kelley and her husband have been active as socialites in the Tampa area, appearing in local society news items and making television appearances. Kelley became a volunteer social liaison to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. 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 the Tampa area. 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 U.S. Central Command.
Kelley and her sister Natalie have visited the White House three times. 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 had "honorary consul" license plates on her Mercedes which conferred no special privileges. At the 2012 Republican National Convention Kelley was introduced to the CEO of TransGas Development Systems as someone who could help facilitate a deal with Korea concerning a coal-gasification project. The CEO, Adam Victor, subsequently ended his business relationship with Kelley after she demanded an $80 million or 2% commission to assist him with the negotiations. Kelley, however, says that she discontinued the relationship, and that a 2% fee “was discussed but nothing more specific.”