Like her socialite sister, Natalie Khawam is deeply in debt – by about $3 million dollars.
"It's my opinion that she does what she needs to do to be perceived important," said Tampa attorney Barry Cohen.
Cohen, who once hired Khawam, accused her of lying under oath in her bankruptcy case.
And the judge, in an ugly custody battle over her 4-year old son, agreed despite glowing letters from two high-powered friends: former CIA Director General David Petraeus and the top U.S. Commander in Afghanistan, Marine General John Allen.
"It is not surprising. I would think, if it is based on a relationship, a friendly relationship, that they have had its perfectly fine," said Retired Col. E.J Otero, an intelligence office who served in the Us Air Force for 28 years.
Khawam lost custody of her son last year and for the last several months has been fighting for more visitation rights.
Court records show both generals intervened on her behalf, testifying in letters to the court, that she is a dedicated mother with solid character.
"I think Natalie thought that she would use the influence of the two generals to impress or influence the judge. I don't think they knew her very well," Cohen said. "I think they knew the side of her she wanted them to see. Now, they see a different side of her that's a lot darker."
And what the judge found is a shocking deviation from those letters, calling her outrageous and illogical.
After a series of brutal custody hearings and psychological evaluations, the judge ruled she "has extreme personal deficits" when it comes to "honesty and integrity." He also writes that she showed a "willingness to say anything, even under oath, to advance her own personal interests at the expense of others."
"There's no question in my mind the judge was absolutely correct when he referred to her as basically a pathological liar," Cohen said.
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