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Crist denies report that he dated Jill Kelley’s sister

Posted Nov 14, 2012 by William March

Updated Nov 14, 2012 at 01:38 PM

Former Gov. Charlie Crist denies a report that he once dated Natalie Khawam, sister of Jill Kelley, who’s a figure in the emerging tale of Gen. David Petraeus, although he acknowledges he knew the Kelley family.

In comments to reporters, Crist denied a report in a British newspaper that he had dated Khawam. He said he knew her but the two never socialized one-on-one.

Crist was asked about the Petraeus situation during a news conference in Tampa this morning on a proposal to revise Florida elections laws after the state’s voting fiasco in the Nov. 6 election.

“I think it’s a tragedy,” he said. “My thoughts and my prayers go out to the general’s family. This has to be a very difficult time and it’s just a sad situation. What else can you say?”

Asked whether he knew the family, he said, “Not well, but I know them.” Asked whether he had dated Khawam, he said simply, “No.”

Crist said while he was governor, he met the Kelley family at a dinner at Bern’s Steak House in Tampa.

“I was meeting the general and his wife and Jill and Scott Kelley and they were lovely people,” he said. “The general was as impressive as you would think he would be.” He called it, “just an opportunity to welcome him to the Tampa Bay area and our state.”

Crist said he hasn’t been asked by any authorities for help in the investigation.