Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Debt-or Alive

The General Petraeus scandal's Lebanese-American socialite has begun fighting back over media portraying her as less than wholesome. Jill Gilberte Khawam Kelley's lawyer has released materials claiming businessman Adam Victor made "false and defamatory" statements "intended to portray Ms. Kelley in a false light." Kelley is also reported to have filed a complaint with the State of Florida over her former attorney Barry Cohen violating attorney-client privilege by talking to the media.

But according to her local Tampa Bay Times, in the decade since arriving in Tampa, Ms. Kelley and/or her husband have been subjects of lawsuits nine times, often for non-payment of debts. (link)  Seems too frequent. And her 37-year old twin sister, who lives together with her, is embroiled in a $3.2 million bankruptcy, perjury allegations, and a nasty custody battle. Both sisters have reportedly failed to pay for separate past legal services from Arnold Levine, another Tampa lawyer.

So perhaps they are not the most desirable of clients, though each sister claims close friendship with former CIA Director David Petraeus & Army General John Allen (and both generals provided glowing character references for Natalie Khawam)... The Kelleys have reportedly hired star Washington layer Abbe Lowell and  famed publicist Judy Smith to assist them. Was payment in advance required?

Why should we care? Most people work hard to settle their debts. Scams & bankruptcies undermine confidence. Now we see key people in the military & government intelligence as none too smart...The Madoff swindle & the bailout of big corporations after 2008 showed key US systems as not simply imperfect, but corrupt. Signs of immanent major breakdown...?