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The Boston Globe

Opinion

Dante Ramos

Character sketch: Jill Kelley

Scandals, like wine grapes, capture the soil they grew in. New York scandals feature Wall Street chicanery. Washington scandals feature politicians, interns, and government shutdowns. The sudden downfall of former general and CIA director David Petraeus began at Harvard’s Kennedy School, where he met Paula Broadwell, the Army-major-turned-graduate-student who became his biographer and his mistress. But as the intrigue widened last week — to include a second four-star general, a tall stack of ostensibly flirty e-mails, and a mysterious FBI agent known for days only as “shirtless guy” — reporters zeroed in on Tampa and the aspirations of 37-year-old socialite Jill Kelley.

It was Kelley who inadvertently brought Petraeus’s affair with Paula Broadwell to the FBI’s attention. Born in Lebanon, raised around Philadelphia, and married to a cancer surgeon, Kelley became friendly with Petraeus when he ran Tampa-based Central Command, which oversees US military activities in the Middle East and Central Asia.

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