Judy Smith, The Real-Life Olivia Pope, Helping Sony Pictures With Crisis

Jonathan Franks - Author

Dec. 19 2014, Updated 12:14 p.m. ET

Crisis management expert Judy Smith is reportedly helping Sony Pictures clean up their mess.

TMZ reported on Friday that inside sources connected with the studio confirm Judy Smith has been advising Amy Pascal, Sony Pictures chief, behind the scenes quietly.

According to the report, Smith’s primary focus is dealing with the overwhelming flood of criticism that has surfaced this week after the studio decided to drop The Interview.

Even though you might not recognize the name “Judy Smith” off hand, it would probably be easier to think of her as Olivia Pope from Scandal since Smith was Shonda Rhimes’ inspiration for the character.

Judy Smith is the owner of Smith & Company – one of the most reputable crisis management firms in the United States.

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Thanks to her deep connections within the U.S. government, Judy Smith has reportedly been able to assist Sony Pictures in a big way. TMZ reports that Smith has been directly involved with the Hollywood side as well as making sure that “it’s handled” in Washington D.C. as well.

Earlier reports of George Clooney making negative comments about Sony Pictures’ response to this crisis may have actually pleased Judy Smith and her crisis management team. Those comments shined the spotlight more on the industry as a whole instead of Sony Pictures exclusively.

In order to further assist Sony Pictures in recovering from this crisis, Judy Smith and her team are reportedly promoting the message that the studio made the decision to pull The Interview in order to ensure the safety and well-being of its employees.

While Judy Smith and her team try their best to exercise damage control over this particular crisis, it has also been reported that their focus is to keep the fallout contained and find an effective way to move forward into the New Year.

The 56-year-old corporate fixer has been able to successfully help such prolific celebrities as Michael Vick, Paula Deen, Clarence Thomas and Monica Lewinsky all while managing to live a private life herself far away from the spotlight.

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During an interview to promote her self-help book, “Good Self, Bad Self,” last December, Judy Smith opened up about her perspective on mistakes – whether the person making them is in the limelight or not.

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“The truth of the matter is, when you think about it, we all make mistakes. And, quite frankly, we all screw up. But I am truly a big believer in forgiveness and second chances.”

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The married mother of two is not just the inspiration for the Olivia Pope character portrayed by actress Kerry Washington. Judy Smith is also one of the show’s producers.

[Image Credit: ABC News & Variety]


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