A little bit of 'Scandal' with the Petraeus affair

10:17 AM, Nov 14, 2012   |    comments
'Scandal' star Kerry Washington and Judy Smith, the real-life crisis expert that Washington's character, Olivia Pope, is based on (CNN)
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(CNN) -- When Retired Gen. David Petraeus stepped down from his position as the head of the Central Intelligence Agency last Friday, citing an extramarital affair, plenty of people were ready to draw parallels between his real life drama and the kind playing out on television, especially Showtime's "Homeland" and ABC's "Scandal."

Now there is an actual connection to one of the shows.

One of the women involved in the Petraeus story, Jill Kelley, has reportedly employed the services of Judy Smith. Smith is a public relations crisis management specialist in Washington and the woman upon whom "Scandal's" main character, Olivia Pope, is based.

On the hit ABC show, Pope is often called on to handle public relations nightmares for clients and has even spared a few from jail time. Pope is also the former mistress of the show's fictitious sitting president who she once advised as a part of his political team.

Smith has a tamer history as far as we know. According to her website, she is a former special assistant and deputy press secretary to President George H. W. Bush who "has served as a consultant for a host of high profile, celebrity and entertainment clients over the course of her career" including Monica Lewinsky, Sen. Larry Craig from Idaho, actor Wesley Snipes, NFL quarterback Michael Vick, and the family of Chandra Levy. Smith also serves as a co-producer for "Scandal."


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