(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — The woman at the center of the sex scandal that led to David Petraeus’ resignation from the CIA has spoken publicly for the first time about the affair and apologized for the “harm” she caused to the families involved.
“I have remorse for the harm that this has caused, the sadness this has caused in my family and other families,” Paula Broadwell said in her first interview with ABC News’ affiliate WSOC in Charlotte, N.C., since news of the extramarital affair broke last November.
Broadwell met Petraeus, 60, while she was a graduate student at Harvard University and working on a dissertation about Petraeus. Broadwell wrote the biography on Petraeus titled All In: The Education of General David Petraeus. As Petraeus’ personal biographer, she enjoyed tremendous access to the decorated war hero and former four-star general.
“I ‘m the first to admit I’ve made mistakes, and I’m regretful for the pain I’ve caused, but at some point again you pick yourself up face forward and keep moving,” Broadwell said.
Broadwell said it was support from loved ones that got her through the public scrutiny she faced in the aftermath of the affair. Broadwell, who lives in Charlotte with her husband and two kids, spends her time supporting veterans and wounded warriors.
“I’m blessed with family, community. That’s been a great part of my rehabilitation … and wonderful organizations that realize that even if you’ve made mistakes in life you can still contribute and pick up, dust off and move on,” she said.
The extramarital affair was uncovered when Florida socialite Jill Kelley told an FBI agent that she received harassing emails from an unknown source. The emails eventually traced back to Broadwell and ultimately uncovered evidence of her affair with Petraeus.
Broadwell was stripped of her military security clearance after a federal probe alleged she was storing classified military material at her home.
“I’m not focused on the past,” Broadwell said. “It was a devastating period for our family. We still have some healing to do. We’re very focused on how can we continue to contribute and use this for the greater good to do something good in the next chapter.”
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