Paula Broadwell, the woman who had an affair with David Petraeus, denied she was in love with him in a bizarre interview with Arthur Kade she gave in the midst of their fling.
Speaking in an interview while promoting her book in February, Paula Broadwell said without prompting: “I am not in love with David Petraeus,” in what was something of a Freudian slip.
By that stage their affair was around five months having started when David Petraeus became head of the CIA in September last year. It ended around July, according to reports.
In the interview Paula Broadwell, who is married with two young sons, revealed that she had sent David Petraeus’ wife Holly a copy of her fawning biography of her husband – and claimed that she loved it.
Paula Broadwell, 40, also revealed for the first time the extent of the access that he gave her, including private papers going back 30 years.
The disclosure could reignite the debate about what information she was given access to.
If David Petraeus, 60, was prepared to show Paula Broadwell his intimate correspondence with mentors then he may have allowed her to see classified information too.
Controversially, Paula Broadwell even claims that it was David Petraeus’ idea, and not hers, to turn her dissertation project on military leadership into the book it became: All In: The Education Of General David Petraeus.
The interview was carried out by Arthur Kade, a former financial advisor turned humanitarian who also conducts celebrity interviews.
Arthur Kade and Paula Broadwell sit in front of an open fire for 13 minutes during which she speaks at length about the book.
Paula Broadwell says: “I conducted over 700 interviews, you can appreciate how time consuming that is, and to transcribe then and I was trying to do this all on my own as a dissertation project.
“But when I realized the opportunity I had to present this portrait of strategic leadership – you know it’s not a hagiography, I’m not in love with David Petraeus, but I think he does present a terrific role model for young people, for executives, for men and women.
“There’s a great role model there who is values oriented, who speaks the truth to power, who shows great example of taking initiative and other qualities we should be all be interested in ourselves and promoting in others.”
Paula Broadwell said that she had presented David Petraeus with a copy of her book but added that “he says he hasn’t read it”.
She said: “I sent him and his wife a copy and I know his wife, Holly Petraeus, read it and she had great things to say.
“He’s tracking how the book is being received and as an academic mentor of mine, if you will, he’s proud of me.”
Paula Broadwell and David Petraeus first met in 2006 when she asked him if he could be a case study in her Harvard dissertation on military leadership.
He agreed, gave her a business card and she made multiple visits to Afghanistan to interview him – before romance finally flourished.
Turning to their relationship, Paula Broadwell said in the interview: “Our rapport increased and he decided to make it more of an official relationship, treating me like a biographer.
“I was able to look through correspondence he exchange with his mentors over three decades as a young captain and major and I was able to trace how he was thinking, the evolution of his thought about counterinsurgency, about how forces train and equip and fight and on leadership.
“I was particularly interested in leadership.”