1. Military

FBI agent's testimony bolsters Jill Kelley's claims in defamation case

Jill Kelley had hosted Gen. David Petraeus and other military leaders at her home.
Published Apr. 21, 2015

TAMPA — The FBI agent who triggered an investigation of the David Petraeus-Paula Broadwell sex scandal characterizes Tampa socialite Jill Kelley as a woman twice victimized — first by Broadwell and then by the FBI.

Special Agent Frederick Humphries II said in a sworn deposition obtained by CNN that he couldn't understand why his superiors displayed animosity toward Kelley. He considered that it might be politically motivated behavior to deflect attention from Petraeus before the 2012 presidential election. Days after the election, Petraeus resigned as director of the CIA over his extramarital affair.

"No one wants to be involved in a case like this during an election cycle," he recalled hearing from a supervisor.

CNN based its report on Humphries' March 20 deposition for a defamation lawsuit filed by Kelley and her husband, Scott Kelley, who have claims pending against the FBI and the Department of Defense.

She asserts that they violated her privacy, defamed her and improperly gained access to her email, all in a way that hurt her reputation and livelihood.

At the FBI, she was regarded by some as a "femme fatale" and at times was the topic of lewd comments, Humphries said in the deposition. He said he felt compelled to remind colleagues that the Kelleys were victims of cyberstalking.

"I was surprised throughout the process of the marginalization of Mrs. Kelley as a victim in this case," said Humphries, who is still based in Tampa.

He recalled that Steven Ibison, then in charge of the FBI's Tampa office, "kind of rolled his eyes and snorted at the proposal that I said they were victims."

The Kelleys had socialized with Petraeus when he was an Army general in charge of U.S. Central Command in Tampa and with other military leaders, at times hosting them in their Bayshore Boulevard home. The Kelleys also knew the agent socially.

Jill Kelley turned to Humph­ries after hostile emails disparaging her were received by her husband and by four-star Gen. John Allen. The investigation led to Broadwell, Petraeus' biographer and paramour.

While the Justice Department typically protects the names of victims in federal investigations, Kelley's name became public. In the lawsuit, she complains about being cast as the woman at the center of a sex scandal, one alleged to have brought down two generals.

The other was Allen, who retired from the military after an investigation of his own e-mail exchanges with Kelley.

He was cleared of all wrongdoing — but not before someone falsely told Fox News that the exchanges were like phone sex, the lawsuit alleges.

Humphries, according to CNN, testified that he believed someone at FBI headquarters leaked Kelley's name in what "seemed to be a purposeful attempt to discredit both Mrs. Kelley and myself."

The agent said he was "completely blindsided" by a suggestion from then-FBI director Robert Mueller that Humphries was having an inappropriate relationship with Kelley.

David Couvertier, spokesman for the FBI's Tampa office, declined to comment Monday on Humphries' deposition because of the pending litigation.

Jill Kelley and her attorney also declined to comment.

The lawsuit was filed in Washington, D.C., in 2013. The complaint and an amended complaint named Ibison, Mueller and former CIA director and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, among others, but a judge dismissed several claims.


  1. Maintainers prepare KC-135s refueling planes to be evacuated from MacDill Air Force Base in August. A new study predicts MacDill and other Florida bases will experience a sharp rise in the number of days when the heat index tops 100 degrees Fahrenheit, making it unsafe to be outside for extended periods. MONICA HERNDON  |  Tampa Bay Times
    MacDill Air Force Base is predicted to see big increases in days the heat index tops 100 degrees.
  2. Andrew Morrow, 67, an Army veteran, has a place to live through Operation Reveille and the Tampa-Hillsborough Homeless Coalition. Some days, Morrow said, he would wake up crying after a night on the streets. MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times
    Through Operation Reveille, advocates spend the year finding housing for Hillsborough’s homeless veterans. Their numbers have fallen since it launched in 2014.
  3. Smoke rises after an Israeli forces strike in Gaza City, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. Israel killed a senior Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza early Tuesday in a resumption of pinpointed targeting that threatens a fierce round of cross-border violence with Palestinian militants. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa) HATEM MOUSSA  |  AP
    The Israeli strike killed Bahaa Abu el-Atta and his wife, setting off a furious barrage of Gaza-fired rockets that reached as far as the Tel Aviv
  4. U.S. Army veteran Don Adams, 65, (right) holds his Veterans Treatment Court Certificate of Completion as he hugs Hillsborough Judge Michael Scionti last week. The special court graduated its 700th veteran during a presentation  in honor of the Veteran's Day weekend. "This court saved my life," said Adams, who did not want to participate in the program at first. "This court saved me from me." Pictured left is James. A Jeffries, Chaplain for Hillsborough County veterans. JOHN PENDYGRAFT   |  Times
    The specialized version of drug court puts veterans’ rehabilitation at the forefront. It is becoming a national model.
  5. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. JAMAL THALJI  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Provincial governor Gholamreza Shariati told IRNA that the drone belonged to a “foreign” country and that parts of it had been recovered in a nearby lagoon.
  6. Pasco County community news TMCCARTY80  |  Tara McCarty
    Members of the West Pasco Dental Association are providing the service.
  7. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is displayed on a monitor as U.S. Central Command Commander Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie at a joint press briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, on the Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi raid. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) ANDREW HARNIK  |  AP
    Al-Baghdadi was identified by comparing his DNA to a sample collected in 2004 by U.S. forces in Iraq, where he had been detained.
  8. Medal of Honor recipient and retired Navy Seal Lt. Thomas Norris shakes hands with Angelina Anderson, 11, during a visit to Paul R. Smith Middle School in Holiday. Michele Miller
    The visits were a collaboration with the Medal of Honor Character Foundation.
  9. The Air Force’s X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle Mission 5 successfully landed at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility Oct. 27, 2019. The X-37B OTV is an an experimental test program to demonstrate technologies for a reliable, reusable, unmanned space test platform for the U.S. Air Force. It broke a record after staying 780 consecutive days in orbit.

 Air Force
    The Air Force will let you see photos of the reusable, unmanned X-37B. But its classified missions remain a mystery.
  10. Melvin Morris is seen in this undated photo by Nick Del Calzo. NICK DEL CALZO  |  Photo by
    Some were born in Florida. Others joined up here. All received the nation’s highest award for valor in action against an enemy force.