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Ex-CIA Chief Petraeus Apologizes For Affair In First Public Speech

WASHINGTON POST (U.S.), BBC, SKY NEWS (UK)

Worldcrunch

LOS ANGELES - In his first speech since resigning in November, former CIA director David Petraeus has apologized to those he says he let down with the extramarital affair that lead to one of the most sudden and dramatic public falls from grace in recent memory.

In his speech Tuesday night at the University of Southern California -- to an audience of some 600, including many veterans and his own wife -- Petraeus said: “I know that I can never fully assuage the pain that I inflicted on those closest to me and on a number of others," the Washington Post reported.

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Petraeus being sworn in as CIA Director in 2011 by Joe Biden. Photo by CIA

“Please allow me to begin my remarks this evening by reiterating how deeply I regret - and apologize for - the circumstances that led me to resign from the CIA and caused such pain for my family, friends and supporters.”

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Gen. Petraeus and Paula Broadwell in 2011. Photo by Bdell555

The sex scandal involved his biographer, Paula Broadwell -- a married army reserve intelligence officer -- who sent emails to another woman, Jill Kelley, whom she accused of also having an affair with the General, wrongly believing that she was a love rival. Petraeus resigned after an FBI investigation was launched.

General Petraeus is the military leader credited with reshaping the U.S. counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan, reports Sky News. He took over as head of the CIA in 2011, but insisted on hanging up his uniform before taking over the civilian spy agency.

According to the BBC, Gen. Petraeus said that he hoped his experience “can be instructive to others who stumble or indeed fall as far as I did. One learns, after all, that life doesn’t stop with such a mistake. It can, and must, go on.”

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