The TV world is all a buzz about Shonda Rhimes’ new mid-season drama Scandal, starring movie actress Kerry Washington. Promising to be another Shonda Rhimes hit–if not familiar Rhimes created Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice–Washington’s titled character is based on crisis-management power house Judy Smith.
Judy Smith knows some of Washington’s darkest secrets. When a politician, celebrity, or CEO is in trouble, she’s often their first phone call.
Smith was in fifth grade at St. Francis de Sales in Northeast DC when she realized she had a knack for handling scandal. The school’s “it” couple was about to break up over allegations of cheating. Smith acted as a mediator and convinced them to stay together. Decades later, she found herself dealing with a much higher-stakes love triangle as she helped Monica Lewinsky navigate the fallout from her affair with President Bill Clinton.
Smith’s other clients have included former Idaho senator Larry Craig, the family of Chandra Levy, and quarterback Michael Vick. She develops crisis-management strategies to get clients beyond media or legal firestorms.
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