Today it was revealed that Jill Kelley had access to “influential figures in the global area” before she was even out of school.
Jill Kelley, now 37, was a member of the World Affairs Council while still a student at Lower Moreland High School in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania.
Students were taken on trips and given the opportunity to meet dignitaries at the highest level including presidents, prime ministers and princes.
Among those who have spoken at her local branch of the respected organization include Prince Albert of Monaco, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush and Tony Blair.
General David Petraeus also made an appearance, but it was in 2010 and long after she had left school.
Jill Kelley has become the central figure in the scandal which has caused David Petraeus, 60, to step down as head of the CIA and forced General John Allen to stand down from his post leading US troops in Afghanistan.
General John Allen, who is married, sent her between 20,000 to 30,000 e-mail messages, some of which were of an inappropriate nature.
General David Petraeus’ mistress, Paula Broadwell, an Army reservist who was also his biographer, is said to have emailed Jill Kelley and warned her to back off because she was jealous, which led to the affair becoming public when the FBI got involved.
Judging by pictures in her high school yearbook, Jill Kelley was glamorous even at the age of 18 and well aware of her charms.
She posed wearing a black dress and pearls around her neck with her jet black hair tumbling over her left shoulder.
Her body is turned to the left and she has a radiant grin on her face.
Jill Kelley appears not to have been a prominent member of school but did take part in a number of activities, notably the World Affairs Council.
According to the Philadelphia branch of the nationwide non-profit organization, it was founded in 1949 to inform people of all ages “on matters of national and international significance”.
Among the other guest speakers have been Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Joe Biden, Al Gore and Donald Rumsfeld.
Its website says: “The Council provides its members and the greater Philadelphia community with access to influential figures in the global area as well as opportunities to visit fascinating destinations through its unique travel program.”
Jill Kelley – who appears in the yearbook under her maiden name Khawam – was also a “Mathlete” and would have competed against other schools in math competitions.
She claims to have written for student newspaper Lion’s Roar which allowed students to “freely vent their creative juices”, the yearbook says.
The newspaper also started up a world news section because, according to its 1993 editor Sharon Herring, there was concern students were “lacking in their knowledge of the outside world|.
Another string to Jill Khawam’s bow was the Future Business Leaders of America whose members took part in competitions where they learned skills that would be useful at work, such as typing and accounting.
In the yearbook Stephanie Simon said: “I believe that FBLA not only exposes students to the important field of business, but it also aides the community.
“Students are able to get a taste of the real world in more ways than one.”
Jill Khawam also appears to have had a strong moral compass and was a member of SADD – Students Against Drunk Driving – another group called Students For a More Conscious Society, the student council, a community outreach program called Operation Smile and the Red Cross
Her other activities were computer club, science club, orchestra basketball, cross country running, field hockey, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field and orchestra.
Jill Khawam grew up in Philadelphia with her family, who emigrated there from Lebanon in the 1970s.
Her parents, John and Marcelle Khawam, once ran a Middle Eastern restaurant and now live in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania.
In her yearbook entry, Jill Khawam’s twin sister Natalie Kwaham wears the same clothes as her sister and is also smiling.
Her activities included concert choir, the World Affairs Council and Students For A More Conscious Society.
The sisters moved to Tampa, Florida around ten years ago where they both became regulars on the social circuit.
Jill Kelley’s husband Scott works as a surgeon, while Natalie Khawam is a lawyer who specializes in dealing with whistleblowers, which has newfound irony considering Jill was the one whose contact with the FBI led to the resignation of a well-respected general and the investigation into another.
A friend, who has known Jill Kelley for almost a decade, said that the revelation that she exchanged between 20,000 and 30,000 pages of communications with General John Allen comes as a surprise.
“This has come as a complete shock. You never know what goes on behind closed doors, but no one in her circle saw this coming,” said one of her friends.
“Jill was well known for throwing parties where the military attended and she reveled in her role as honorary ambassador but sending all those emails to a general is another thing.”
Her brother, David Khawam, has also revealed their fear that she will be branded the “other woman”.
Speaking to the Today show, he said: “This is something that is going to brand her for life.
“My sister, number one, is a mother. She has three kids and is extremely dedicated to those kids.
“Number two she is a wife. She is extremely dedicated to her husband and he to her. For her to have an affair with General Petraeus is ludicrous.”
Jill Kelley regularly kept in touch with then-General David Petraeus when he became commander of the Afghan war effort, the two exchanging near-daily emails and instant messages, two of his former staffers say.
But those messages were exchanged in accounts that his aides monitored as part of their duties and were not romantic in tone, the staffers said.
David Khawam added that he expected his sister, who has hired the crisis management firm employed by Monica Lewinsky and the attorney who represented John Edwards earlier this year, to address reports about her involvement with two of the top US military chiefs.