So word on the street is that Paula Deen has retained the services of D.C. crisis firm Smith & Co., which is run by one Judy Smith, the real life crises manager that the lead character in Shonda Rhimes’ hit ABC series, Scandal, is based on – aka Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington.
Since admitting she used racial slurs during a recent lawsuit deposition, the southern celebrity cook and restaurateur has seen a slew of lucrative deals she once had, slip away rapidly, including her contract with the Food Network, and her deal with Smithfield Foods, Caesars Entertainment and more.
QVC is reportedly still deciding whether or not it will drop her as well.
So clearly Deen is in desperate need of a “fixer” who can “handle it.” And who better than Judy Smith, the former White House press aide under President George H. Bush, who also counseled Monica Lewinsky, Michael Vick, Senator Larry Craig, worked on the prosecution of former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court hearings, the Chandra Levy investigation and the Enron Congressional inquiry, amongst others.
Needless to say, I won’t be betting against Smith, although I did wonder whether she considered not taking the job, given the the client and what the client did, since Smith herself is black.
But I suppose it’s a job like any other. She’s getting paid to do what she does very well, and she maybe can’t get too emotionally caught up in the specifics, regardless of her own personal beliefs about the client or the case.
After all, wasn’t there an episode of Scandal in which Olivia Pope took on a rapist as a client?
But don’t be surprised if this entire Paula Deen story inspires an episode of Scandal next season.
No comment from Smith on the Deen case.
Gladiators – get to work!