The world has been watching the sex scandal unfold between United States General Petraeus and Paula Broadwell. Who would have known that Florida would become involved in this mess? Recently, the media has been focusing on Jill Kelley, her financial trouble, and her Florida mortgage foreclosure. The Huffington Post reported:
“Jill Kelley, the Florida woman who first exposed the sex scandal that led Gen. David Petraeus to resign, had major legal and financial trouble long before she burst into the spotlight, according to recent reports. Kelley, 37, and her husband Scott Kelley, a cancer surgeon in Tampa, Fla., have been sued at least nine times, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Despite their lavish lifestyle, they face foreclosure and massive amounts of debt, according to court documents.”
“Jill Kelley, who blew open the Petraeus scandal when she contacted a friend who worked for the FBI to report harassing emails from the CIA director’s mistress, Paula Broadwell, lives in a $1.5 million mansion on Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Regions Bank is trying to foreclose on the historic waterfront home where the socialite entertained Petraeus and other VIPs, including military leaders stationed at MacDill Air Force Base. The couple also face foreclosure on a three-story office building they own in downtown Tampa. Court records show that the Kelleys owe their bank nearly $2.2 million on the property, according to the the Tampa Bay Times. A judge last year ordered the building be put up for sale.”
While the Huffington post has a detailed video about the Petraeus scandal and Kelley’s financial status, ABC News aired an interested video that sums the story up in five minutes. This article and video state that Kelley has been painted as “a social climber whose lavish lifestyle is now threatened by millions of dollars in debt and possible foreclosure on her home, and who tried to exploit her connections, perhaps even enlisting Gen. Petraeus in her sister’s bitter child custody fight.” The ABC article when on to add specific details about Kelley’s socialite status stating:
“A U.S. official described Kelley as a ‘nice, bored, rich socialite’ who drops ‘honorary’ from her title and tells people she is an ambassador. The personalized license plate of her Mercedes trumpets her status as an honorary consul for the Korean government. In a 911 tape from this past weekend, Kelley can be heard telling local police that alleged trespassers on her property need to be removed because of her diplomatic status. ‘I’m an honorary consul general,’ explains Kelley, ‘so I have inviolability, so they should not be able to cross my property.’ In a statement Tuesday, the U.S. State Department emphasized that Kelley has no official diplomatic role. ‘She does not work for State,’ said a spokesman. ‘She has no affiliation with State.’”
Kelley has hired “attorney Abbe Lowell, who represented John Edwards, and crisis manager Judy Smith, who worked for Monica Lewinsky.” This is understandable. If someone were going through a similar matter in Duval County, they would hire a Jacksonville lawyer to mitigate the damage that has occurred and protect against further repercussions. Although Lowell is not a Florida attorney, he will likely use local counsel in Tampa to help him with the Petraeus scandal. He may even consult with a Florida criminal lawyer to cover all basis.