Biographer Paula Broadwell, who authored the emails to a Tampa socialite that eventually exposed her affair with former CIA Director David Petraeus, told her potential nemesis that she would make her "go away," the New York Daily News first reported.
The initial emails were sent to Jill Kelley, who was a volunteer liaison at MacDill Air Force base in Tampa, Fla. Kelley had developed friendships with Petraeus and another four-star general, John Allen, when they were stationed at the base a few years ago.
Apparently Broadwell viewed Kelley as a threat, which prompted her to send a series of anonymous emails.
But Kelley found them so disturbing that she called an FBI agent friend who then forwarded them to his superiors. Kelley has also found herself embroiled in another controversy over her email correspondence with Allen, who currently commands U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Allen's nomination to become commander of NATO forces in Europe is being held pending the outcome of an internal Pentagon inquiry.
However, a friend close to Kelley told The New York Daily News on Monday that she perceived the emails coming from someone "clearly unhinged."
"This wasn't a catfight," said the friend. "Any normal person who got emails like that would have immediately called the police."
The email Kelley found most disturbing is one Broadwell sent that vowed to "make you go away." Broadwell, who like Petraeus is a West Point graduate, made reference to having "powerful friends."
Since the scandal broke, Broadwell and her husband have been in seclusion at her brother's home in Washington, D.C., but the family returned to their Charlotte home on Monday. Her brother said she was "devastated" over the news and is "filled with guilt and shame for what she has done."
Petraeus made his first public appearance last Friday when he appeared before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees to testify over the Sept. 11 attacks in Libya that took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
Broadwell has not issued a public statement but has retained a public relations firm to represent her. Petraeus has retained noted Washington lawyer Robert Barnett, who has served as counsel to Presidents George W. Bush and Obama and other noted politicians and government officials.