Friends of Jill Kelley: Accusation of romantic interest in General Petreaus absurd

TAMPA - A flurry of cameras went off as Jill Kelley left her home this morning, but she did not speak to reporters.

Kelley was dressed in her usual elegant style, wearing designer clothing. 

The 37-year-old and her husband, Dr. Scott Kelley, are well known in Tampa Bay area social circles.

Margaret Word-Burnside and Aaron Fodiman, creators and editors of Tampa Bay Magazine, have socialized with the couple many times.

"They are just a lovely couple," said Word-Burnside.  "They are very active in the community and like to know high-power people."

The Washington Post reported that General David Petraeus admitted mistress Paula Broadwell sent harassing emails to Jill Kelley, accusing the South Tampa socialite of pursing Petraeus.

Fodiman said the accusation is absurd.  "Jill is just one of those old-fashioned home-type girls.  No, this is not where she is involved.  I can only assume that this other woman, for whatever reason, looked at Jill as a threat. And in her craziness decided to send an email," said Fodiman.

Fodiman and his wife Word-Burnside also know General Petraeus and his wife, Holly.

They said both couples were friends with each other, and if anything, Jill Kelley was looking out for the well-being of the Petraeus family.

"I think Jill did the right thing.  She saw something that looked terribly wrong, and reported it to the authorities. What else are you going to do?" Fodiman said.

Whether she wants the attention or not, Kelley now joins the media storm. And both women, Broadwell and Kelley, are staying mum.

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