Friend Says Paula Broadwell Regrets Damage

Broadwell and her family drove back to their home in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday.

ByABC News
November 19, 2012, 2:23 AM

Nov. 19, 2012— -- A family friend of Paula Broadwell, the author who carried on an affair with former CIA Director David Petraeus, tells ABC News that Broadwell "deeply regrets the damage that's been done to her family" from the dalliance.

The person close to Broadwell also told ABC News Sunday night, that Broadwell is devastated by the fallout, which led to Petraeus' resignation from the CIA. The friend spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

Broadwell, her husband, Scott, and their two young sons, drove back to their home in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, according to the friend. The family was greeted by more than 25 supportive friends and neighbors upon their arrival.

Broadwell didn't react to reporters gathered outside the home, but her husband said "no comment at this time" and a possible statement would be coming soon, according to ABC News affiliate WSOC.

Broadwell left again this afternoon without speaking to reporters.

The 40-year-old author, who wrote the biography on Gen. Petraeus, "All In," spent more than a week at her brother's Washington, D.C., home after news broke of the affair. The friend says Broadwell is now trying to "focus on her family."

Broadwell faces a critical decision from prosecutors who must decide whether to charge her with mishandling classified information for allegedly taking secret files from secure government buildings. That's a potential violation of federal law, but authorities may allow the military to discipline her.

The case is complicated by the fact that, as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Military Reserve, Broadwell had security clearance to review the documents.

"The whole thought or idea that you have classified information on your personal computer at home, I'm sure violates some Army regulations if nothing else," said former FBI agent and ABC News consultant Brad Garrett.

Petraeus hired a top Washington D.C. lawyer over the weekend to help him navigate the fallout from the career-ending affair. The lawyer, Robert Barnett, of Williams & Connolly, is known for negotiating book deals for the political elite, from President Barack Obama to one-time vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Natalie Khawam, sister of Florida socialite Jill Kelley, who sparked an FBI investigation into the affair, has hired famed activist-lawyer Gloria Allred, according to the pair's brother, David.

It wasn't immediately clear why Khawam would need a lawyer, but Allen and Petraeus both wrote letters on her behalf during her custody battle with ex-husband Grayson Wolfe – a battle Khawam eventually lost. The judge in the case said Khawam had "severe psychological deficits."

Kelley sought to keep a low profile as a close friend defended her to ABC News.

"Jill Kelley is a good friend. The best kind of a friend. The one that would keep a secret. The friend that you could trust," Don Phillips said.

Still, that didn't stop "Saturday Night Live" from opening their show with actress Cecilia Strong playing Broadwell, reading excerpts of her biography on Petraeus with an erotic twist that sounded more like "Fifty Shades of Grey."