Socialite Jill Kelley of Petraeus scandal sues US over alleged privacy violation

Posted June 04, 2013, at 6:25 a.m.
Jill Kelley walks out of her home in Tampa, Fla. on Nov. 12, 2012. Kelley has sued the federal government over alleged privacy violations.
BRIAN BLANCO | REUTERS
Jill Kelley walks out of her home in Tampa, Fla. on Nov. 12, 2012. Kelley has sued the federal government over alleged privacy violations.

Jill Kelley, a Tampa, Fla., socialite whose emails surfaced as part of an investigation into former CIA Director David Petraeus, sued the federal government over claims it breached her privacy.

Kelley claims the U.S. Department of Defense and Federal Bureau of Investigation violated her constitutional due process rights and protections against unreasonable search and seizure, according to a complaint filed Monday in federal court in Washington. Petraeus, a retired Army general, was hired last month by KKR to run a new unit for public policy, economic research and emerging-market due diligence at the private-equity firm.

Petraeus’s extramarital affair with Paula Broadwell, his biographer, was uncovered following a complaint Kelley made to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about harassing emails that turned out to come from Broadwell. The ensuing scandal forced Petraeus’s resignation. The emails were disclosed “with little to no regard for the standards required by law or common decency,” according to the complaint.

Kelley and her husband sought the assistance of federal law enforcement officials to report evidence of criminal activity, and in response, the U.S. “willfully and maliciously thrust the Kelleys into the maw of public scrutiny concerning one of the most widely reported sex scandals to rock the United States government,” according to the complaint.

In November, South Korea revoked an honorary consul title given to Jill Kelley, two Foreign Ministry officials said at the time. The lawsuit cites lost diplomatic status, income and investment opportunities as a consequence of the government’s publication of her emails.

Jill Kelley seeks a formal apology from the Department of Defense and FBI, unspecified damages and a court order to prevent further similar constitutional violations, according to the complaint.

Christopher Allen, an FBI spokesman, declined to comment on the complaint.

A defense department media representative wasn’t immediately available after regular business hours for comment.

The case is Kelley v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, 13- cv-00825, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia.

 

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