WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former CIA Director David Petraeus and the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, both recently intervened in a child custody battle on behalf of the twin sister of the Florida woman at the center of a scandal that has engulfed both men, court documents show.
Petraeus and Allen wrote letters in September to the District of Columbia Superior Court in support of the twin sister, Natalie Khawam, as she sought to gain more visitation rights with her son, according to a review of the court file.
The letters deepen the mystery of how two Tampa socialites developed close access to top military officials and raise questions about the specific nature of those relationships.
Defense officials said earlier on Tuesday that Allen is under investigation for alleged inappropriate communication with Khawam’s sister, Jill Kelley, a military volunteer.
Officials said they were combing through thousands of pages of email and other communications between Allen and Kelley.
It was Kelley’s complaints about harassing emails from the woman with whom Petraeus had an affair, Paula Broadwell, that prompted an FBI investigation that ultimately disclosed Petraeus’ involvement with Broadwell. Petraeus resigned from the CIA post on Friday.
In his September 20 letter to the court, Petraeus said he had known Khawam for three years while serving in Tampa, through the friendship he and his wife, Holly, have with Jill Kelley and her husband, Scott Kelley, a Tampa cancer surgeon.
Petraeus said he had observed Khawam with her son during that time, including when the Petraeuses hosted them for Christmas dinner.
“In each case, we have seen a very loving relationship - a Mother working hard to provide her son enjoyable, educational, and developmental experiences,” Petraeus said.
Allen in his September 22 letter said he and his wife, Kathy, came to know Khawam through social functions while stationed at U.S. Central Command. “She is a dedicated mother, whose only focus is to provide the necessary support, love, and care for her son,” Allen wrote.
Khawam was married to Grayson Wolfe, a former Bush administration official who directed Middle East initiatives and Iraqi reconstruction efforts at the Export-Import Bank.
Wolfe could not be immediately located for comment.
His LinkedIn profile identifies him as a founding partner of Akkadian Private Ventures, but when a Reuters reporter went to a Washington address listed for the firm, it was occupied by an unrelated private residence.
The New York Post first reported the contents of the letters.
Reporting By David Ingram and Aruna Viswanatha in Washington; Editing by Karey Wutkowski and Cynthia Osterman