Jill Kelley, Friend of David Petraeus, Received Harassing Emails That Launched FBI Probe

PHOTO: David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell
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The Florida woman who received harassing emails from Paula Broadwell, spurring an FBI probe that ultimately uncovered the Gen. David Petraeus' extramarital affair with his biographer and led to his resignation as director of the CIA, has been identified as Jill Kelley, a local concerned citizen who volunteers to help the military.

"We and our family have been friends with Gen. Petraeus and his family for over five years. We respect his and his family's privacy and want the same for us and our three children," Kelley said in a statement.

A close friend of Petraeus said Kelley and her husband, who are both civilians but supporters of the military community, befriended the Petraeus' when the general was stationed in Florida.

Natalie Khawam, left, Gen. David Petraeus, Scott and Jill Kelley, and Holly Petraeus watch the Gasparilla parade from the comfort of a tent on the Kelley's front lawn in Tampa, Fla., Jan. 30, 2010. (The Tampa Bay Times, Amu Scherzer/AP Photo)

The Kelleys spent Christmases in group settings with the Petraeus' and visited them in Washington D.C., where Jill's sister and her son live.

"It is very clear there was nothing going on other than friendship" between Kelley and Petraeus, the close friend told ABC News.

WATCH: Paula Broadwell interviewed on "Around The World with Christiane Amanpour"

The saga, which would ultimately end the public service career of one of the most respected military minds of this generation, began when harassing emails were sent to Kelley, who in turn, notified the FBI.

The emails were traced to Broadwell's inbox, where investigators are said to have found intimate emails that indicated Petraeus was having an extramarital affair with his biographer.

Investigators uncovered no compromising of classified information or criminal activity, sources familiar with the probe said, adding that all that was found was a lot of "human drama."

The affair between Gen. Petraeus and Broadwell, both of whom are married, began several months after his retirement from the army in August 2011 and ended four months ago, retired U.S. Army Col. Steve Boylan, who is a former Petraeus spokesperson, told ABC News.

"He hugely regrets what happened," Boylan said. "He pretty much threw away the best job he ever had and put his family through something just too hard to describe."

Petraeus is said to have been the one to have broken off the extramarital affair.

The 60-year-old's storied career, first as the public face of two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and later as director of the CIA, came crashing down on Friday when he announced his resignation from the intelligence agency, citing the indiscretion.

"After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours," Petraeus said in a statement on Friday.

People close to the general had previously suspected Broadwell's feelings for him had crossed a professional line.

They found the biographer, who spent a year embedded with Petraeus in Afghanistan, to be embarassing and far too "gushy" about him. They said to one another they thought Broadwell "was in love with him," sources told ABC News.

Petraeus and his wife Holly, who have been married for more than 37 years, are said to be staying in their Arlington Home and are doing "OK."

"Knowing the family, I suspect it will be hard work, but given the effort they will get through it," Boylan said.

Paula Broadwell Spent Year Embedded With Petraeus

The timing of Petraeus' resignation, which came days before he was scheduled to testify to the House and Senate intelligence committees regarding the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, "was what it was," an official told ABC News, adding that the time had come to tie up any loose ends in the investigation and confront Petraeus.

The CIA director stepped down from his position as the head of the intelligence agency on Friday, acknowledging he had engaged in an extramarital affair. He did not provide any further details.

"Yesterday afternoon, I went to the White House and asked the president to be allowed, for personal reasons, to resign from my position as D/CIA," he said in a statement. "After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the president graciously accepted my resignation."

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was made aware of the Petraeus situation on Tuesday evening around 5 p.m. by the FBI, according to a senior intelligence source.

After having several conversations with Petraeus that evening and the following day, Clapper advised Petraeus that the best thing to do would be for him to resign, the source said.

Clapper notified the White House the following afternoon that Petraeus was considering resigning, according to the source.

Petraeus then went to the White House Thursday and told the president he thought he should resign, and the following day the president accepted his resignation, the source said.

Clapper is not currently initiating an investigation into the matter, according to the source.

The news shocked officials in Washington. Petraeus was perhaps the military's most respected general of his generation. He is seen as a problem-solver, and was entrusted with key roles by two presidents from different parties.

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Petraeus, then working as a general in Afghanistan, spent a year in close quarters with Broadwell, a 40-year-old married mother of two who embedded with him to write his biography.

In February, when promoting her book, "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus," the West Point and Harvard-educated Broadwell told ABC News' Christiane Amanpour she was able to learn more about what makes the four-star general tick.

"His father doled out what he called gruff love, so he was always working hard to keep his father happy and I think that's reflected in his personality now," she said. "It's interesting to apply that on every one of his assignments, even looking at now, he's trying to please this president."

Broadwell wrote a story that was published this week on Newsweek's website titled "General David Petraeus's Rules for Living." No. 5 is notable in light of the news about his extramarital affair.

"We all will make mistakes. The key is to recognize them and admit them, to learn from them, and to take off the rear-view mirrors -- drive on and avoid making them again," he said.

Flashback: Martha Raddatz profiled David Petraeus when he retired from the military. Watch that here.

The departure of Petraeus will add another hole to Obama's leadership team, which is expected to lose some high-profile faces in the coming weeks and months.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is among the cabinet members who have said they will not stay in the administration for a second term. A hole at CIA will add yet another position that requires Senate confirmation to that list.

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