"There was blackmail, extortion, threats,"
Kelley told The Daily Beast of the
"fewer than 10" anonymous emails sent to Kelley in May, which investigators
later determined were sent by Broadwell.
Kelley, 37, said the messages became
increasingly more threatening, though they did not explicitly tell her to stay
away from Petraeus, as had previously been believed.
Kelley said she had no idea at the time
who was behind the messages.
"I never met Paula in my life," Kelley
said, adding that she didn't even know that Broadwell had written a biography
Kelley and her husband, who is a surgeon,
are close friends of the Petraeus family. She was a volunteer social liaison to
the MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., where she often hosted parties for
"I knew I was being stalked," Kelley said.
"I did what anybody else would have done when they were feeling threatened, to
go seek protection from somebody I could trust."
Kelley's complaint to the FBI led to an
investigation, which began in June 2012 and revealed that Broadwell had sent the
emails. Investigators also uncovered evidence of Broadwell's affair with
Petraeus, which ended in July 2012. Petraeus resigned his post on Nov. 7.
Soon after, federal officers began
investigating U.S. General John Allen, commander of the International Security
Assistance Force in Afghanistan and nominated to be NATO's supreme allied
commander, after it was revealed that he had exchanged numerous emails with
Kelley, some of which were described as "inappropriate."
Kelley told The Daily Beast that she was
celebrating her daughter's seventh birthday when the media descended on her,
after her identity as the tipster who led to Petraeus' downfall became
"It was devastating," Kelley said. "To
have your privacy invaded is truly-there are no words to describe it. Instead of
enjoying a family birthday party, I had paparazzi storming my front lawn,
pushing down the door. There are no words to describe the panic and fear at that
Kelley declined last month to press
charges against Broadwell over the emails and federal prosecutors closed the
But Kelley said her image continued to
suffer through half-truths and lies reported in the media.
"As much as I appreciate that they want to
be the first one to come out with a headline, regardless of whether they did any
fact-checking, they have to consider the impact they have on our life and our
children's lives," she said. "Just because it's repeated doesn't make it true.
It was living a nightmare."