Real-life is meeting the world of TV make-believe as the crisis firm that inspired the ABC drama “Scandal” is now playing a part in the biggest political scandal America’s seen in nearly a decade.
Jill Kelley, the Florida woman who Sunday was identified as the person who sparked an FBI investigation that uncovered CIA Director General David Petraeus’ extramarital affair, has enlisted the help of Washington-based crisis firm Smith & Co., according to news reports.
Smith & Co. didn’t respond to a request for comment. USA Today reported that Ms. Kelley and her husband, Scott, hired Smith & Co.’s founder, PR maven Judy Smith, and attorney Abbe Lowell. Fox News, in writing about the FBI probe, also noted Smith & Co.’s new role in working with the Kelley family.
Details in the Petraeus scandal have been continually revealed since the scandal broke Friday, but many questions remain. The Senate Intelligence Committee will investigate why the FBI failed to immediately tell the White House and Congress when it discovered that ex-CIA director had an extramarital affair.
The first mention of Ms. Kelley’s involvement didn’t come until Sunday. The Tampa, Fla.-based woman has been referred to as an unpaid social liaison at MacDill Air Force Base, who was reportedly friendly with Gen. Petraeus and his wife — with the families even spent the holidays together. Ms. Kelley is understood to have alerted the FBI to “threatening emails” allegedly aimed at the CIA director. That move prompted an investigation uncovering an affair between Gen. Petraeus and his biographer, Paula Broadwell, both of whom are married with children. The CIA director resigned late last week after confirming an affair.