By Saundra Amrhein
TAMPA, Florida (Reuters) - The woman identified as the source of an FBI probe that led to the downfall of CIA Director David Petraeus, asked for privacy on Sunday as she hosted a lavish birthday party for one of her children on the front lawn of her mansion-style home near MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.
Jill Kelley, 37, a volunteer social liaison with military families at the base, declined to speak to news crews gathered outside, with the exception of a society columnist for the Tampa Bay Times. The newspaper later reported that she had expressed "her family's continuing fondness for Petraeus."
More than 100 adults and children attended the party at Kelley's home on Tampa's exclusive Bayshore Drive.
A source close to the Petraeus family confirmed that Kelley, and her husband, Scott Kelley, a Tampa cancer surgeon, became friends when Petraeus was stationed at MacDill from 2008 until 2010 as commander of the military's Central Command (Centcom), which runs operations in the Middle East.
The couples stayed in touch, later meeting in Washington when the Kelleys visited relatives.
The source stressed that Kelley and Petraeus "are longtime friends and nothing more."
The FBI investigation that led to the discovery of Petraeus' affair with author Paula Broadwell was sparked by threatening emails from her to Kelley.
The CIA director's name unexpectedly turned up in the course of the investigation, according U.S. law enforcement and security officials. Continued...