Paula Broadwell, ex-CIA chief Petraeus' lover, 'devastated by guilt'
Agence France-Presse in Washington
Speaking through her brother, the ex-lover of fallen CIA chief David Petraeus has broken her silence on the affair that led to his downfall, saying she is "filled with guilt and shame".
Paula Broadwell and her husband, Scott, were captured by TV cameras returning to their North Carolina home on Sunday after staying at her brother's house in Washington since the scandal broke.
"She's been devastated by this," People magazine quoted her brother, Stephen Kranz, as saying in an interview published on Monday.
"She is filled with guilt and shame for what she's done and she's incredibly sorry for the pain she's caused her husband, her family, Petraeus's family. She accepts responsibility for her actions and knows she made a mistake," he said.
"Now (she) is really focused on repairing and protecting her family and trying to really focus on her husband and her children and protect the kids from this," Kranz added.
Petraeus, America's most celebrated military leader in a generation, stepped down on November 9 as head of the CIA after admitting to an affair with Broadwell, a counter-terrorism expert and lieutenant-colonel in the Army Reserve who had coauthored a biography of him.
The FBI stumbled upon the affair when Jill Kelley, a Florida socialite and friend of the Petraeus family, asked investigators to look into threatening e-mails that turned out to be from an apparently jealous Broadwell.
The probe uncovered potentially "inappropriate" e-mails between Kelley and the top allied commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, that are the subject of a separate inquiry.
Television pictures showed Broadwell, wearing dark glasses and clutching one of her two sons in her arms, as she walked up the stairs from her car to enter her Charlotte, North Carolina, home on Sunday.
"At some stage I'll have a statement for you guys, just not right now," her husband, Scott, said, as he fetched groceries from the car.