- (Photo: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)
"I screwed up royally," is the assessment from ex-CIA chief David Petraeus himself as he reviewed the scandal that has engulfed his life over the past month.
Petraeus resigned from his position as the head of the CIA earlier this month after it was revealed that he had been having an affair.
It has now been reported that he has admitted screwing up in a letter to his friend Brig. Gen. James Shelton.
In the letter Petraeus wrote: "I screwed up royally. I paid the price (appropriately) and I sought to do the right thing at the end of the day."
The ex-CIA chief also admitted in the letter that he was "fortunate" to have married his wife Holly, despite the difficulties his actions had caused their marriage.
Petraeus wrote: "Team Petraeus will survive though [I] have obviously created enormous difficulty for us. Holly is, however, once again demonstrating how incredibly fortunate I was to marry her."
Petraeus has not spoken publicly about his affair since his resignation, and to a large extent he has been keeping a low profile as reports are released daily into the scandal. However, his friend Shelton has spoken to the New York Post about the letter he had received from Petraeus.
To the publication Shelton said, "He's a superb human being. What happened to him happened to a number of people … He's a man, and all men have an Achilles' heel."
The revelation that the head of the Central Intelligence Agency had an extramarital affair with the woman writing his biography has sent shockwaves through Washington.
Petraeus resigned after it was revealed that he had had an affair with his biographer in 2011, just two months after he became director of the CIA, according to a former aide.
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Congressional leaders have reportedly been steaming over the fact they were not told sooner about the affair, leading to speculation of deception and a cover-up. Members of Congress have already stated that they would like to conduct a formal inquiry over the events surrounding the affair, as well as the FBI investigation that disclosed the affair between Petraeus and his biographer, Paula Broadwell.
"We received no advanced notice. It was like a lightning bolt," Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, said during a press conference.
Sources close to Petraeus and his family have insisted that the family is completely devastated over the recent developments, particularly his wife, Holly, of 38 years.
"Well, as you can imagine, she's not exactly pleased right now," retired U.S. Army Col. Steve Boylan told ABC. "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."
Petraeus has two adult children, including a son who commanded an infantry platoon in Afghanistan as an Army lieutenant.