Jill Kelley, woman who sparked Petraeus probe, has Philadelphia roots

Paula Broadwell, left, author of the David Petraeus biography "All In," carried on an affair with Petraeus, according to several U.S. officials with knowledge of the situation. A senior U.S. military official says Broadwell sent harassing emails to Jill Kelley of Tampa, right, the State Department's liaison to the military's Joint Special Operations Command. (Broadwell photo: AP Photo/The Charlotte Observer, T. Ortega Gaines; Kelley photo, Tampa Bay Magazine, May/June 2007 edition)
Paula Broadwell, left, author of the David Petraeus biography "All In," carried on an affair with Petraeus, according to several U.S. officials with knowledge of the situation. A senior U.S. military official says Broadwell sent harassing emails to Jill Kelley of Tampa, right, the State Department's liaison to the military's Joint Special Operations Command. (Broadwell photo: AP Photo/The Charlotte Observer, T. Ortega Gaines; Kelley photo, Tampa Bay Magazine, May/June 2007 edition)
Posted: November 12, 2012

Jill Kelley, the Florida woman whose complaint to the FBI may have led to the downfall of CIA Director David Petraeus, has deep Philadelphia roots.

Kelley, 37, hails from a Lebanese family that emigrated to Philadelphia in the mid-1970s.

Her parents, John and Marcelle Khawam, once operated a restaurant in Voorhees, N.J., and still live in Washington Crossing, Bucks County, according to public records. An older brother resides in South Jersey, records suggest.

Kelley emerged Sunday as the woman who contacted the FBI after allegedly receiving threatening emails from Petraeus' biographer, Paula Broadwell, according to the Associated Press and other news outlets. Her complaint to the FBI led investigators to emails that showed Petraeus and Broadwell were having an affair.

Kelley works as an unpaid social liaison to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. According to a statement released Sunday, she and her husband, Scott Kelley, have been friends with Petraeus and his wife, Holly, for five years.

A 1988 Inquirer feature about the family's culinary roots described Kelley's father as an accomplished musician in their homeland and her mother as a chef who liked to entertain political and cultural figures.

At one point, the Khawams ran a Middle Eastern restaurant in Voorhees called Sahara. John Khawam also owned an auto tag store in Northeast Philadelphia, records show.

After living in Northeast Philadelphia, the family moved to Huntingdon Valley.

Jill Khawam and her twin sister, Natalie, were the youngest of four children.

Both women moved about a decade ago to Tampa, where Jill Kelley's husband works as a surgeon and the couple are active in the social circuit.

Natalie Khawam is a lawyer specializing in representing whistleblowers. According to her online resume, she attended Beaver College (now Arcadia), and earned graduate degrees from Temple University and Georgetown University Law School.

An older sister, Caroline, also lives in Florida, while Kelley's older brother, David Khawam, lives in Mount Laurel, records show.

None could be reached for comment on Sunday.


Contact John P. Martin at 215-854-4774, at jmartin@phillynews.com or follow @JPMartinInky on Twitter.

|
|
|
|
|