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.
Ms. Kelley asked Smith & Co. to release a statement Sunday
on her behalf: "We and our family have been friends with Gen.
Petraeus and his family for over five years. We respect his and his
family's privacy and want the same for us and our three
In short order, news outlets began reporting that Ms. Kelley --
contrary to what some early reports suggested -- did not have an
affair with General Petraeus. Although that bit of information is
not directly tied to a statement from the crisis firm or to Ms.
Kelley's communications strategy, it's a key detail that Ms. Kelley
likely wanted to make public.
The person advising her has been at the center of a fair share
of crises, to be sure. Judy Smith joined the White House in 1991,
appointed as special assistant and deputy press secretary to
President George H. W. Bush. She's parlayed that experience into
being an adviser on a string of high-profile government, celebrity
and corporate crises.
According to her website, Ms. Smith's experience includes
matters related to: President Bill Clinton's scandal involving
Monica Lewinsky; the Iran Contra investigation; the prosecution of
former Washington Mayor Marion Barry; the 1991 Gulf War; the Los
Angeles riots; the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Justice
Clarence Thomas; the congressional inquiry of Enron and the United
Nations Foundation; and World Health Organization response to the
The site also notes that she has provided counsel to companies
including United Healthcare, Americhoice, Walmart and AIG; various
heads of state; and celebrity and entertainment clients such as
Wesley Snipes; and the family of Chandra Levy, the Washington
intern who was found murdered in 2001.