LOS ANGELES (AP) — Journalist Michael Hastings was not working on a story about Florida socialite Jill Kelley when he died in a fiery single-car wreck last week, his wife said Tuesday on Twitter.
Elise Jordan tweeted that she wanted to correct the record after seeing erroneous reports about the work of her husband.
“Since I’ve seen it erroneously reported a few times: @mmhastings was not working on a story about Jill Kelley,” Jordan wrote. She declined a request for further comment.
Kelley claimed in a federal lawsuit filed earlier this month that the government willfully leaked false and defamatory information about her and her husband, violating their privacy, in the scandal that led to Gen. David Petraeus resigning as CIA director.
The 33-year-old Hastings had won a 2010 George Polk Award for his Rolling Stone magazine article that led to the resignation of U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal as U.S. commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan.
The death of Hastings resulted in a flurry of conspiracy theories.
He had emailed a warning to colleagues on June 17 saying the “Feds” were interviewing his close friends and associates. He added: “I’m onto a big story, and need to go off the radat (sic) for a bit.” BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith confirmed that he had received the email.
At 4:20 a.m. on June 18, Hastings’ car hit a tree and caught fire. Investigators said there didn’t appear to be any foul play. An autopsy was performed, but findings on the cause of death were deferred pending the results of toxicology tests expected in eight to 10 weeks.
The circumstances and rumors surrounding the death led the FBI to issue a statement stating that Hastings was never under investigation.
Early media reports stated he was working on a story about Kelley while in Los Angeles.
Tami Abdollah can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/latams