Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Jill Kelley claims Gen. Allen sought her help with Koran-burning threat

TAMPA — In March, Jill Kelley said U.S. Gen. John Allen needed her help.

In emails obtained by the Tampa Bay Times, she claimed Allen, commander of the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan, called and emailed her seeking assistance in tamping down a threat by disc jockey Bubba the Love Sponge Clem to "deep fat fry" a Koran.

The Department of Defense is now investigating the exchange of tens of thousands of emails between Kelley, a south Tampa socialite, and the four-star general. Defense officials said Friday morning they couldn't verify Kelley's account.

In emails to Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Kelley said Allen was worried the radio stunt could put troops in harm's way. She said then-CIA director David Petraeus and Vice Admiral Robert S. Harward also contacted her about lending a hand.

"I have Petraeus & Allen both emailing me to get this dealt with," she wrote Buckhorn March 7.

She follows up with another:

"Gen. Allen will be calling me from Afghanistan at 1pm on this- and our next step."

The Mayor replies: "If it involves the radio station, we are working on it."

She asks him if she should get a lawyer involved:

"I'm considering having my 1st Amendment filing suit against Bubba and the Producers," she wrote.

Kelley's name dropping continues through many of the emails she sent to Buckhorn. She mentions Gen. James Mattis, the King of Jordan and a group of international "VIPs."

She talks about dinners at their homes and jet-setting to Washington, D.C. to be with Petraeus, adding:

"Let's set up a double date when I return!"

Clem did not follow through on his prank, he said, after interventions from Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee and Col. Jim Previtera, Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor and attorney Stephen Diaco.

Retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, who served as chief of U.S. Central Command from 1997 to 2000, said in an interview that he would not have sought an intermediary to deal with someone like Bubba.

"I don't want to give the impression that I am trying to put pressure on someone in a roundabout way," Zinni said. "I would contact him directly."

Times staff writer William R. Levesque contributed to this report.

Jill Kelley claims Gen. Allen sought her help with Koran-burning threat 11/16/12 [Last modified: Friday, November 16, 2012 11:46am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review: Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald team up to cool down the Clearwater Jazz Holiday

    Blogs

    A cool breeze swept through Coachman Park Saturday night. Couple of them, actually.

    Kenny Loggins performed at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday on Oct. 21, 2017.
  2. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start

    College

    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103
  3. Lightning buries Penguins (w/video)

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Ryan Callahan spent a lot of time last season rehabilitating his injured hip alongside Steven Stamkos, who was rehabbing a knee after season-ending surgery. During those hours, Callahan noticed two things about Stamkos: his hunger and his excitement to return this season.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Slater Koekkoek (29) advances the puck through the neutral zone during the first period of Saturday???‚??„?s (10/21/17) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Spain planning to strip Catalonia of its autonomy

    World

    BARCELONA, Spain — The escalating confrontation over Catalonia's independence drive took its most serious turn Saturday as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain announced he would remove the leadership of the restive region and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid.

    Demonstrators in Barcelona protest the decision to take control of Catalonia to derail the independence movement.
  5. Funeral held for soldier at center of political war of words (w/video)

    Nation

    COOPER CITY — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102