A U.S. official described Kelley as a "nice, bored, rich socialite" who drops "honorary" from her title and tells people she is an ambassador. The personalized license plate of her Mercedes trumpets her status as an honorary consul for the Korean government.
In a 911 tape from this past weekend, Kelley can be heard telling local police that alleged trespassers on her property need to be removed because of her diplomatic status. "I'm an honorary consul general," explains Kelley, "so I have inviolability, so they should not be able to cross my property."
In a statement Tuesday, the U.S. State Department emphasized that Kelley has no official diplomatic role. "She does not work for State," said a spokesman. "She has no affiliation with State."
Kelley and her husband Scott have also had to grapple with financial problems. They have been sued at least nine times. The couple faces foreclosure on their waterfront mansion and on an office building they own. Court records indicate that the Kelleys owe more than $2 million on the office building. The Kelley home also served as the office for a charity she and her husband set up for cancer victims that spent tens of thousands of dollars on travel, meals and entertainment.
The FBI has now uncovered "potentially inappropriate" emails between Gen. Allen and Kelley, according to a senior U.S. defense official who is traveling with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. The department is reviewing between 20,000 and 30,000 documents connected to this matter, the official said. The email exchanges between Kelley and Allen took place from 2010 to 2012.
The U.S. official said the emails were "innocuous" and mostly about upcoming dinner parties and seeing him on TV. Allen denies he was involved in an affair, a Pentagon official said. An intermediary for Allen told ABC News that Allen and his wife are friends with Kelley and her husband and most of the emails were sent from Kelley to Allen's wife.
ABC News has learned that Gen. Allen also received an anonymous e-mail traced to Paula Broadwell, claiming Jill Kelley was a seductress.
Kelley's family is standing by her and denying any untoward allegations and insinuations.
"It is a shock," Kelley's brother, David Khawam, told ABC News' Tampa affiliate WFTS. "We are just trying to find out where the pieces are falling right now."
"She is very dedicated to her husband and to her kids," he said. "So, something like this is really pretty much a fluke. So, for anybody to paint her as otherwise is completely wrong."
But Kelley and her sister had apparently grown so close to the high-level military officials that both Petraeus and Allen wrote letters on Khawam's behalf in September as she battled her ex-husband Grayson Wolfe for custody of her son, even as the judge in the custody dispute wrote that Khawam had "severe psychological deficits."
In November 2011, the D.C. Superior Court had ruled that Khawam's husband would get sole legal and primary custody of the child.
The judge wrote that Khawam "has exhibited an utter disregard for the child's interest" in maintaining a meaningful relationship with his father, that she "has extreme personal deficits in the areas of honesty and integrity," and that she has exhibited a "willingness to say anything, even under oath, to advance her own personal interests at the expense" of her husband, the child, and others.