Jill Kelley sues FBI, Pentagon over alleged leaks

Kelley, who became connected to David Petraeus' affair, alleges she faced "moral opprobrium, scorn and derision"

Topics: Jill Kelley, David Petraeus, Paula Broadwell, Pentagon, FBI,

Jill Kelley sues FBI, Pentagon over alleged leaks (Credit: AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Jill Kelley and her husband, Scott, have sued the Pentagon and the FBI over alleged leaks to the press connecting them with David Petraeus’ affair with Paula Broadwell, alleging that the leaks subjected Jill Kelley to ”ridicule, moral opprobrium, scorn and derision.”

The 65-page lawsuit claims that after Kelley filed a complaint about threatening emails she had received — eventually revealed to have been sent by Broadwell, and eventually leading to revelations about Broadwell’s affair with Petraeus — the FBI and Defense Department violated the Kelleys’ privacy rights, leaked false and defamatory information, and generally engaged in “damaging leaks, cavalier sexual innuendo, old-fashioned “blame the victim” discrimination, and other privacy violations and slander of the Kelleys by government officials [that] were not authorized conduct within the scope of those officials’ employment.”

“If Defendants can wreak such emotional, reputational, and financial havoc on a couple as educated, intelligent, successful, and public-spirited as the Kelleys,” the lawsuit continues, “they could certainly do so to anyone. Accordingly, this suit seeks not only to vindicate Plaintiffs’ legal rights, help restore their reputations, champion the truth, and otherwise attempt to make them whole, but also to deter Defendants from such egregious violations of privacy in the future.”

The complaint asks for a formal apology and unspecified damages.


Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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