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COM alumna inspires ABC drama ‘Scandal’

She’s helped Monica Lewinsky, Michael Vick and BP get beyond life-altering scandals. Now, COM graduate Judy Smith (CGS ’78, COM ’80) is the inspiration for ABC’s “Scandal,” a soapy drama helmed by “Grey’s Anatomy” showrunner Shonda Rhimes and starring Kerry Washington as a crisis management director. From The Washington Post:

judysmithHer crisis management and communications firm, Smith & Co., is not listed in phone directories. It has no Web site. She says she has no current business cards. When you ask to meet at her office, she says she’ll come to you. When she calls you on the phone, the caller ID reads “Verizon.” When Betsy Beers, another of the co-executive producers of “Scandal,” searched the Internet for a picture of Smith before their first meeting, she found a total of one — Smith pushing a camera out of her face in a Lewinsky media scrum.

So you just know the stories she could oh-so-thinly veil in “Scandal” and a tell-all memoir. The Bush White House during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings! The U.S. Attorney’s Office during the (first) Marion Barry prosecution! Monica! Enron! William “Cold Cash” Jefferson! Larry Craig in the men’s room!

And . . . have you lost your mind? Can you spell “confidentiality clause”? You think, having seen the media beast up close, she’s about to spill her guts to TMZ?

“When you’re working in crisis situations, people have a tendency — particularly the media — to stake out your house,” she says, explaining her extreme sense of privacy. “Having done this for 20 years, I understand what that is like.”

Read more in The Washington Post.

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