A Bay area publicist does not believe Jill Kelley will win public over by filing a federal lawsuit
9:37 PM, Jun 3, 2013
9:00 AM, Jun 4, 2013
TAMPA - Tampa Bay publicist Glen Selig believes Jill Kelley made a bad move filing a federal lawsuit Monday afternoon accusing government officials of violating her privacy.
Kelley, once considered a Tampa socialite, is suing the FBI, Department of Defense and other unnamed government officials, following a national scandal she found herself at the center of last year. The scandal ultimately brought down ex CIA director General David Petraeus by exposing his affair with Paula Broadwell.
"I think the public views her as an opportunist and I think this lawsuit will reinforce that belief," said Selig.
Kelley says it was one year ago today that she began receiving threatening emails. She subsequently went to law enforcement to report being the victim of cyberstalking.
In a written statement released via her publicist Monday, Kelley wrote:
"Today is an unforgettable day because one year ago threatening emails shook my life, and ultimately changed our country's leadership. It was under the faithful direction of our concerned military leaders, that I went to the law enforcement to seek the proper protection for my family, our Commanders, and top US Officials. But unfortunately, we did not receive the confidentiality and protection. Instead we received highly hurtful and damaging publicity from willful leaks from high level government officials that were false and defamatory."
The lawsuit states that Kelley asked the FBI to investigate the threatening emails. Those emails were later linked to Broadwell. Kelley claims the FBI collected emails she sent to military and government officials without her permission. She said she only granted the FBI permission to look at the threatening emails in order to pinpoint an IP address in hopes of identifying the sender.
"In addition, we also learned that our personal emails were wrongfully searched, and improperly disclosed. As damaging as these wrongful acts were for my family, our military, and our country's leadership...I was raised with the belief "if you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem,'" wrote Kelley.
Selig told ABC Action News he does not believe the public is going to perceive Kelley as the victim.
"She filed a lawsuit on the anniversary and she released a statement through a publicist. It seems to me she wants attention," Selig said.
Still, Kelley believes since she was reporting a crime her identity should have been protected and not released publicly. Her lawsuit alleges that the government and military officials violated the Privacy Act, Fourth and Fifth Amendments and Stored Communications Act.
"...This ill-fated day one year ago has made me an advocate for privacy rights for every American. I will demand that victims of a crime, have their names well guarded and their privacy protected; And that every law abiding citizen, the members of media, and including our brave servicemen, will not have their personal communications improperly and unreasonably searched by overreaching government or any other
abuse of government powers," Kelley wrote.
Kelley then vowed to fight for reform.
"It is quite a stretch. I think she is trying very hard to make it look like she is the victim," Selig added.
According to Kelley, the government knowingly made her and her husband part of a national scandal. The lawsuit specifically states this caused Kelley to become an "an object of ridicule, moral opprobrium, and scorn" that cost her her diplomatic status, reputation, investment opportunities and public respect.
The Kelley family is seeking an apology, attorney's fees, a declaration that the FBI violated the Stored Communications Act and fair compensation.