UNDATED (CNN) -- General David Petraeus is breaking his silence about his extramarital affair. He issued a public apology.
Retired General David Petraeus picked a receptive audience to launch his comeback from the sex scandal that cost him his job at the CIA and his reputation with the military. Petraeus says, "So please allow me to begin my remarks this evening by reiterating how deeply I regret and apologize for the circumstances that led to my resignation from the CIA and caused such pain for my family, friends and supporters."
Supporters once were abundant. Petraeus was a four-star general who commanded American forces during the surge in Iraq. He also wrote the field manual for how U.S. troops fight insurgents. Petraeus says, "I join you keenly aware that I am regarded in a different light now that I was a year ago. I am also keenly aware that the reason for my recent journey was my own doing."
His undoing was an affair with Paula Broadwell, the woman who co-authored his biography. Both were married.
It came as a shock to many when an FBI investigation into an unrelated matter uncovered his relationship with Broadwell, which Petraeus acknowledged.
He resigned as CIA director three days after President Obama was reelected, and 10 days before he testified about the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi. Now Petraeus has reentered the public stage and is reported to be talking to potential employers. Image consultant Dan McGinn says, "General Petraeus is an enormously gifted and talented guy he had a great career, he can have a great career going forward. He has to navigate it the right way and looks like he is starting in the right direction."
Petraeus says, "I know that I can never fully assuage the pain that I have inflicted on those closest to me and a number of others. I can, however, try to move forward and as best possible to make amends to those I have hurt."
Chief among them is his wife Holly who did not attend Petraeus' speech.
The event was sponsored by USC which has long-standing ties to the military, and is comfortably located across the continent from the Pentagon and CIA. Journalists were kept what seemed to be almost as far away from the general.