Paula Broadwell, the biographer whose affair with former CIA director David Petraeus triggered a government-wide scandal, has allegedly been “devastated” by the pain that the affair has caused her husband and children, according to a family friend.
The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told ABC News on Sunday night that Broadwell "deeply regrets the damage that's been done to her family” as well as the repercussions the affair has had on all involved.
Broadwell’s affair with Petraeus, who she spent over a year interviewing for her unofficial biography of him, “All In: The Education of General David Petraeus,” was revealed after another female acquaintance of Petraeus’s, Tampa socialite Jill Kelley, complained to the FBI that she had been receiving threatening anonymous emails. The emails were eventually traced back to Broadwell, leading the FBI to uncover her romantic relationship with Petraeus, which allegedly ended over the summer.
FBI investigators discovered that Broadwell had used a number of anonymous accounts, under aliases like “KelleyPatrol,” to send emails to various military personnel, that urged them to stay away from Kelley. She also personally harassed Kelley, implying her attention to Petraeus was inappropriate, and telling her to stay away from “my man.” Officials say that Broadwell viewed Kelley as a romantic rival for Petraeus.
Since news of the scandal broke, the 40-year-old West Point and Harvard grad had been holed up at her brother’s home in Washington, D.C., with her husband and two sons, while the FBI probed the family’s home in Charlotte, N.C. poring over classified documents. Investigators say they found classified documents on Broadwell’s laptop and in her house, which they believe she acquired while she was researching her biography of Petraeus, according to CBS News.
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On Sunday night, Broadwell and her husband Scott, drove back to North Carolina with their sons, where they were met by a crowd of supportive friends and neighbors. Broadwell’s friend said that she is now trying to "focus on her family."
The FBI has not yet announced whether they plan to prosecute Broadwell for bringing classified material into her home, but news outlets have speculated that they may leave potential disciplining up to the military. "The whole thought or idea that you have classified information on your personal computer at home, I'm sure violates some Army regulations if nothing else," said Brad Garret, a former FBI agent and consultant to ABC News.