A scandalous affair comes to Miami

Author Judy Smith talks Shonda Rhimes, career and more

Carla St.Louis | 4/3/2014, 9 a.m.

Judy Smith, who is best known for being the inspiration behind the popular ABC television series Scandal, was in town for an annual book and author luncheon on March 29.

Smith is also the co-executive producer of the hit TV show on ABC with creator, Shonda Rhimes.

The luncheon featured Smith reading excerpts from her latest offering, "Good Self, Bad Self: How to Bounce Back from a Personal Crisis" (2012), a self-help book that promises to teach readers how to manage personal crisis. It was held inside the Treetop Ballroom at Jungle Island.

"The person I usually turn to is me," said Smith during her speaking session. "Most of the time when we have issues we know the answers--we just don't want to listen."

Smith's book is filled with matter-of-fact approaches to handling personal crisis, similar to Scandal's leading lady, Olivia Pope.

And like Pope, she's the founder and CEO of her own crisis management firm, aptly titled Smith & Company that specializes in resolving major issues in the lives of high-powered people. Some of the firm's most notable clients included Monica Lewinsky, Wesley Snipes and Michael Vick.

For the Greater Miami Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, selecting Smith to speak at their annual author luncheon was a no brainer move. In the past, The Links has sponsored authors Terry McMillan and Edwidge Danticat to their literary event.

"We chose Judy Smith for our luncheon because she is the ultimate fixer," said Rene Beal, president of The Links, whose also an avid fan of Scandal. "It's important to bring a wide range of entertainment to the community and bringing Judy continues our efforts to expose our community to fine arts and literature."

Smith also spoke about the conceptual process of consulting for Scandal even giving insight on her relationship with show creator, Shonda Rimes. "Shonda might call and say 'I'm thinking something bad needs to happen,"said Smith of her friend's creative process. "Who would you represent? Which side would you play?"

The luncheon also served as a fund-raiser to support The Links various community programs that deal with the humanities such as their cultural literacy program and opera literacy series.

The event was organized by Jessica McCrary Campbell, chairperson and Renee S. Jones, co-chairperson of The Links.

The Links is a non-profit, women's club that emphasizes community service, friendship, mentorship and leadership within the Black community.