(NEW YORK) — Fury is an inadequate description for Holly Petraeus’ reaction after she learned that her CIA-director husband had an affair with his biographer, a former spokesman for David Petraeus told ABC News.
“Well, as you can imagine, she’s not exactly pleased right now,” retired U.S. Army Col. Steve Boylan said. “In a conversation with David Petraeus this weekend, he said that, ‘Furious would be an understatement.’ And I think anyone that’s been put in that situation would probably agree. He deeply hurt the family.”
As for Petraeus, the retired Army general who resigned as CIA director last week after admitting the extramarital relationship, he, “first of all, deeply regrets and knows how much pain this has caused his family,” Boylan added.
“He had a huge job and he felt he was doing great work and that is all gone now.”
Petraeus knows “this was poor judgment on his part. It was a colossal mistake. … He’s acknowledged that,” Boylan said.
One result is that Petraeus could possibly face military prosecution for adultery if officials turn up any evidence to counter his apparent claims that the affair began after he left the military.
But Boylan says the affair between Petraeus and his biographer, Paula Broadwell, both of whom are married, began several months after his retirement from the Army in August 2011 and ended four months ago.
Broadwell, 40, had extraordinary access to the 60-year-old general during six trips she took to Afghanistan as his official biographer.
“For him to allow the very first biography to be written about him, to be written by someone who had never written a book before, seemed very odd to me,” former Petraeus aide Peter Mansoor told ABC News.
The timeline of the relationship, according to Petraeus, would mean that he was carrying on the affair for the majority of his tenure at the CIA, where he began as director Sept. 6, 2011. If he carried on the affair while serving in the Army, however, Petraeus could face charges, according to Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which reprimands conduct “of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.”
Whether the military would pursue such action, whatever evidence it accumulates, is unclear.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio