Scott Broadwell isn’t a war hero. He didn’t even get to write about one. The least public of all the people to be thrust forward after the very public termination of David Petraeus’s career as America’s chief spook, Broadwell remains a mostly unknown factor in the scandal that has embroiled two families, the FBI, and the CIA.
Broadwell’s wife, Paula Broadwell, was identified as former CIA director Petraeus’s alleged mistress last week, after an FBI investigation exposed the affair. Paula Broadwell is the author of All In: The Education of General David Petraeus, an authorized biography of the retired four-star general who commanded the coalition forces in Iraq.
Soon after news of the affair broke, rumors began to spread that Scott Broadwell might have been the author of an anonymous letter to The New York Times’s “Ethicist” column. The New York Times Magazine editor Hugo Lindgren has since tweeted that the July 13 column, in which a man wrote that his wife was “having an affair with a government executive,” was not in reference to the Petraeus affair, based on the publication’s fact-checking.
Friends and neighbors have told reporters that Scott Broadwell built a happy home with his wife in the upscale section of Charlotte, N.C., where they live with sons Lucien, 6, and Landon, 4. An interventional radiologist—a specialty that uses minimally invasive techniques to diagnose and treat disease—Broadwell is on the staff of Charlotte Radiology, which employs more than 80 radiologists, according to the group’s website.
The government’s Medicare website lists Broadwell as having attended the George Washington University School of Medicine, from which he graduated in 1996. The health-care provider information website Healthgrades.com lists the 43-year-old doctor as board certified in interventional radiology and vascular radiology, and says he completed his residency at the University of Colorado Health Service.
A biography of Paula Broadwell published by the University of Denver, where she earned a master’s degree, noted that she and her husband “love to do Crossfit, run, ski, and surf together.”
Paula Broadwell is a graduate of West Point, and Scott is also reported to be a veteran of the armed forces. In January of this year while promoting her book, Broadwell told The Charlotte Observer that she and Scott met in Germany. The two “adventure junkies,” as she described them, were in training to become ski patrollers.
Paula Broadwell spoke about her family in an October alumni event at the University of Denver. It was “very difficult to start a family,” when both of them were on active duty, she said.
“We had decided before we got married that every other move would be the other person’s choice, since we are both very career-oriented,” she said in that appearance. “And he chose Colorado, he chose Denver.” The pair moved to Denver a month before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Paula returned to active duty shortly thereafter.
The family moved into their two-story brick home in Charlotte’s Dilworth neighborhood in 2009, and Scott joined the staff at Charlotte Radiology around the same time.
“They’re keen joggers and attended local parties, but that’s all that I could say,” said one neighborhood resident of the Broadwells’, according to the Telegraph.
In the January interview with The Charlotte Observer, Paula Broadwell said Scott, along with her mother and other friends and relatives, took care of her two sons while she was abroad with Petraeus in Afghanistan.
Scott also played along gamely when his wife appeared on The Daily Show in January to plug her book. He did push-ups alongside comedian Jon Stewart to benefit Team Red, White & Blue, a group that aids wounded veterans and their families.
Along with his wife, Scott Broadwell was involved in a number of groups to benefit veterans of the armed forces. He and Paula organized a fundraiser with Stewart at the home of one of Scott’s co-workers in September, according to the Charlotte Business Journal. Just a week ago, on Nov. 2, The Charlotte Observer reported that Paula Broadwell donated a parachute jump she had planned to take on her birthday to an amputee and veteran of the 101st Airborne Division. Paula also told the veteran that she and her husband would help the vet find a job when he was ready to re-enter the workforce, according to the paper.
The couple are the subject of headlines for now. But the final word for the Broadwells may already be scrawled into the sidewalk in front of their home, perhaps to remain when the news vans pull away. There, etched on the ground in a hand that looks almost too steady to be that of a 4- or 6-year-old child, reads a simple message:
“Dad [Heart]’s Mom.”