Angelina Jolie Hires Judy Smith, Crisis Manager Who Inspired ‘Scandal’

Angelina Jolie has hired crisis manager Judy Smith, the woman who inspired the hit TV show Scandal, in her high-profile split from estranged husband Brad Pitt, multiple sources confirm to Us Weekly.

Smith, who owns Smith & Company, one of the most reputable crisis management firms in the nation, has had a hand in resolving many celebrity scandals, including those of Monica Lewinsky, Michael Vick and Paula Deen.

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According to her website, Smith has also consulted during historic events, such as the Iran Contra investigation, the 1991 Gulf War, the Los Angeles riots and the congressional inquiry of Enron.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt on Dec. 8, 2008, in Los Angeles. Lester Cohen/WireImage

Kerry Washington’s character on ABC’s hit drama, Olivia Pope, is inspired by Smith’s work, and Smith herself serves as coexecutive producer of the Shonda Rhimes–helmed series.

An insider claims in the new issue of Us Weekly that people around Jolie, 41, are currently “running a smear campaign” against her estranged husband, 52. The source added that the negative press reports painting Pitt to be an angry, unfaithful villain are an attempt to discredit the War Machine star.

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“Angie says she is going to destroy him,” one Jolie pal told Us. “If something is broken, she just throws it away.”

The DCFS was previously investigating Pitt on allegations of child abuse due to an incident on the family’s private jet. According to a source, Pitt voluntarily submitted to a drug test to prove that he has nothing to hide.

A source told Us that the argument was typical of when “teenagers have fights with their parents, especially when you have teens who are strong-willed and confident. You’re going to have back and forth.” The source also added that “the abuse suggestions are inaccurate.”

Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt after two years of marriage and 12 years together on Monday, September 19. “Angelina Jolie Pitt has filed for dissolution of the marriage,” the actress’ rep said in a statement to Us on September 20. “This decision was made for the health of the family.”

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A Pitt source previously told Us that the actor was blindsided by her decision. “Angelina filed the papers a minute before the courts closed. He didn’t have a lawyer or anything,” the source said. “He has been crying constantly.”

Another source told Us that Pitt “has cooperated [with the investigation]. He certainly wants what’s best for his kids and for them to be in the best environment, and he’ll do anything that will put them in the best position.”

Presently, lawyers for both parties are trying to hash out a custody agreement for the pair and their six children — Maddox, 15, Pax, 12, Zahara, 11, Shiloh, 10, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 8. (Jolie requested sole physical custody in her divorce filings.)

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“Lawyers are trying to work out details of the custody agreement,” an insider told Us. “Brad is waiting to file a divorce response until the agreement is in place.”

“Brad has a month to respond to the initial filing, so there is no rush,” another source added. “The fact that things have quieted down so much is a good indicator that discussions are moving forward and are productive. The main issue is custody.”

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