Thu, Nov 15, 2012 - Page 1 News List

Fresh twist emerges in US military sex scandal case

Reuters and AFP, WASHINGTON

US General John Allen attends a memorial for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks this year on Sept. 11 in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Photo: EPA

Former CIA director David Petraeus and the top US commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, both recently intervened in a child custody battle on behalf of the twin sister of the woman at the center of a scandal that has engulfed both men, US court documents show.

Petraeus and Allen wrote letters in September to the District of Columbia Superior Court in support of Jill Kelley’s twin sister, Natalie Khawam, as she sought to gain more visitation rights with her son, a review of the court file shows.

The letters deepen the mystery of how two Tampa socialites developed close access to top military officials.

The court files also give a glimpse into the connections Khawam had built with Washington elite, including US Senator John Kerry.

Defense officials earlier on Tuesday said that Allen is under investigation for alleged inappropriate communication with Jill Kelley, a fixture in military circles in Tampa, where she was a volunteer social liaison at MacDill Air Force Base.

Officials said they were combing through thousands of pages of e-mail and other communications between Allen and Kelley.

Allen has denied that the two had a sexual relationship, officials said on condition of anonymity. It was Kelley’s complaints about harassing e-mails from the woman with whom Petraeus had an affair, Paula Broadwell, that prompted an FBI investigation that ultimately disclosed Petraeus’ involvement with Broadwell. Petraeus resigned from the CIA post on Friday.

Khawam for months has been fighting for more access to her four-year-old son with Grayson Wolfe.

District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Neal Kravitz found that Khawam “has extreme personal deficits in the areas of honesty and integrity.”

In his Sept. 20 letter to the court, Petraeus said he had known Khawam for three years while serving in Tampa, through the friendship he and his wife, Holly, have with Jill Kelley and her husband, Scott Kelley, a Tampa cancer surgeon.

Petraeus said he had observed Khawam with her son during that time and: “In each case, we have seen a very loving relationship — a mother working hard to provide her son enjoyable, educational and developmental experiences.”

US President Barack Obama was to address the sex scandal at his first post-election press conference yesterday.

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