WASHINGTON, Nov 20 (Reuters) - The twin sister of one of the women in the David Petraeus scandal appeared before the media with celebrity attorney Gloria Allred on Tuesday but declined to answer questions about her links to Petraeus, who quit as director of the CIA after admitting an affair.
Natalie Khawam also did not discuss her relationship with Marine General John Allen, who succeeded Petraeus as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.
Allen has been linked to Khawam's twin, Tampa, Florida, socialite Jill Kelley, through "flirtatious" emails that turned up in the Petraeus investigation.
Both Allen and Petraeus wrote letters of support on Khawam's behalf when she was in a custody dispute with her ex-husband.
Allred told reporters that Petraeus and his wife, Holly, were long-time family friends of the sisters.
"They have loved Natalie's child and emotionally supported her and her son through the toughest times in Natalie and her son's life," Allred, who has a long list of celebrity clients, said at the news conference at the Ritz-Carlton hotel.
She did not mention the letter of support written by Allen, who took over as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan when Petraeus left the post to become director of the CIA in September 2011.
Petraeus quit the CIA job on Nov. 9, admitting that he had a n affair.
The affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, was revealed when the FBI found communications between her and Petraeus. Kelley had set the investigation in motion by telling an FBI agent that she had been receiving threatening emails that were eventually traced to Broadwell.
That investigation also uncovered emails between Kelley and Allen t hat a re now the subject of a Defense Department internal inquiry. Allen has denied that the two had a sexual relationship, officials have said on condition of anonymity.
At the news conference, Khawam described her sister as a kind, generous person and her "best friend." She did not provide details about her or Kelley's relationship with the Petraeus or Allen families, or about her custody dispute.
Khawam "will continue to love and support Jill for doing the right thing," Allred said, without elaborating on what she meant by "right thing." Jill Kelley has not been charged with any wrongdoing.
Khawam's ex-husband, Grayson Wolfe, was awarded sole custody of their 4-year-old son and a judge found that Khawam "has extreme personal deficits in the areas of honesty and integrity."
"I look forward to the day when I'm able to answer everyone's questions and explain what really happened in this matter," Khawam said on Tuesday. She did not take questions. (Reporting by Karey Wutkowski and David Ingram; Editing by Bill Trott)