Did Tampa socialite Jill Kelley, embroiled in the scandal that cost CIA Director David Petraeus his job, exaggerate the extent of her contacts during the course of her relationship with Petraeus and the Pentagon?
It has been widely reported that Kelley wrote in now public emails that she intervened as a “mediator” on behalf of Petraeus and Gen. John Allen – who had replaced Petraeus as leader of U.S. forces in Afghanistan – when Florida Pastor Terry Jones was threatening to burn a Quran in 2010.
However, in an interview with WND, Jones said he had never heard of Kelley and was “quite sure” she never contacted him.
“Nope, never heard of her,” said Jones. “During that period of time over the burning I never spoke to any woman at all asking me to stop. Petraeus contacted me, as did the Pentagon, but I never spoke to a woman about the issue.”
Jones said it was possible Kelley talked to another staff member of his church, but he pointed out that he was the one leading the burning crusade.
Jones said Kelley did not act as a mediator.
The claim of mediating between the Pentagon and Jones came up during an exchange of emails in March between Kelley and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn over another threat to the Islamic book.
Buckhorn reportedly asked Kelley to possibly intervene when Tampa radio personality Todd Allen Clem, better known as “Bubba The Love Sponge,” threatened to deep fry a Quran while live on the radio.
Kelley wrote to Buckhorn that both Petraeus and Allen had also asked her to talk to Bubba just as she “mediated” with Jones.
“This Bubba the Love Sponge is a complete moron,” Buckhorn wrote Kelley. “I’m considering having my 1st amendment lawyer filing a suit against Bubba and the Producers … Do you think Bubba will listen to you – without me moving forward with this legal action?”
Writing on March 7, Kelley replied: “I have Petraeus & Allen both emailing me about getting his dealt with.” In a second email on March 7 she added: “[Petraeus and Allen] asked me to get involved, like I did when it happened with the Pastor.”
Yesterday, Kelley used an attorney to attack her former lawyer, Barry Cohen, who had accused her of name-dropping and of being a social climber. Kelley is alleging Cohen broke attorney-client privilege by speaking publicly about conversations he said he had with her in 2009 while representing her in a legal battle with a tenant.
Kelley’s attorney also sent a cease-and-desist letter to New York businessman Adam Victor, who gave interviews to the news media in which he accused Kelley of incompetence in her efforts to set up a multimillion dollar deal with South Korean companies for his firm.
Earlier this year, Kelley was named an “honorary consul” to the South Korean embassy, a title that carried no official position or connection to the State Department.
Victor said he met Kelley at the Republican National Convention and that she told him she would be in a position to help broker the business deal directly with the president of South Korea for a 2-percent commission.
“She only assumed this honorary position in August, and in three months we saw no activity from her or for the Korean government or the Korean community in Florida,” Victor told ABC News.
The honorary title came up in a 911 call released to the media. During that recorded conversation with police, Kelley complained about trespassers on her property and told the operator that since she was an honorary consul, she was subject to “inviolability.”
Kelley reportedly lost her honorary title this month after reports surfaced that she may have used the position for personal gain.
With additional research by Joshua Klein.