Real-life ‘gladiator’ salutes ‘Scandal,’ show she inspired

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Olivia Pope’s journey comes to an end Thursday on “Scandal,” but real-life Washington power players and others still need a “gladiator” to rescue them from crises.

Enter Judy Smith, who inspired the ABC drama and remains in the thick of politics and Hollywood.

Smith, a co-executive producer for “Scandal,” has a deal for a Hallmark mystery movie and is a producer for a Fox drama series pilot starring Katie Holmes.

The affable but discreet crisis manager isn’t forthcoming about her clients, but alumni are said to include Monica Lewinsky, Wesley Snipes and Walmart.

As for what awaits Kerry Washington’s character on the “Scandal” finale, Smith says she wants Olivia to follow her heart.

The episode airs 10 p.m. Eastern Thursday.

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