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Nearly Five Months After Sex Scandal, David Petraeus Apologizes for Affair That Prompted Resignation

"Life doesn't stop with such a mistake. It can and must go on," former CIA director says

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    NEWSLETTERS

    For the first time since resigning as head of the CIA in November, David Petraeus is expected to apologize for an admitted extramarital affair Tuesday night in front of veterans and ROTC students at USC. Whit Johnson reports from USC for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on March 26, 2013.

    David Petraeus apologized Tuesday for the extramarital affair that led to his resignation as CIA chief in November. 

    Petraeus, who before he retired was one of the most decorated and respected military figures of his generation, gave the keynote address on Tuesday night at the University of Southern California’s annual dinner for veterans and ROTC students at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

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    President Obama spoke about embattled CIA Director David Petraeus at Wednesday's news conference. "This ends up being a single side note on what has otherwise been an extraordinary career," Obama said. An FBI investigation exposed the general's extramarital affair, and now another general, John Allen, has been linked to socialite Jill Kelley. Whit Johnson reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Nov. 14, 2012.

    "I join you keenly aware that I am regarded in a different light now," Petraeus told the crowd.

    Petraeus opened his speech with a mea culpa about his affair, his personal journey and a new chapter since his resignation working in the private sector in economics, energy and veterans issues.

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    "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," Petraeus said.

    "Life doesn't stop with such a mistake," he added. "It can and must go on."

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    Former CIA Director David Petraeus went before Congress on Friday to answer questions about the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. His testimony comes one week after he resigned as the nation's top spy over an extramarital affair. Conan Nolan reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Nov. 16, 2012.

    Petraeus received a standing ovation from the 600-plus attendees. He accepted the invitation to speak last year, before his resignation.

    Petraeus served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency from Sept. 6, 2011, until his resignation on Nov. 9, 2012 over an affair with Paula Broadwell, the author of his biography, "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus."

    Petraeus reportedly ended the affair about the time he learned that Broadwell had allegedly been sending harassing emails to a longstanding family friend of the Petraeuses, Jill Kelley.

    An FBI investigation had led authorities to Broadwell’s email account.

    Before that, Petraeus was a decorated four-star general, serving more than 37 years in the Army, including as commander of the International Security Assistance Force and commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.