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PIERS MORGAN LIVE
Interview with Eyewitness to Paul Walker Car Crash; Interview with Judy Smith
Aired December 2, 2013 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, HOST: This is PIERS MORGAN LIVE. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. Tonight, too fast, too furious. Hollywood mourns the death of Paul Walker, killed in a fiery high-speed crash. What will it do to the billion-dollar "Fast and Furious" franchise? Plus, (inaudible) "Scandal." For millions of people, it's can't-miss TV every week on ABC. Take a look at Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, doling out her brand of tough love to politician Lisa Kudrow.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KERRY WASHINGTON, ACTRESS: If we handle this right, it's a bump in the road. And how you handle it will help show your leadership ability and define you character. But you're going to have to fire Candice (ph) to make an example of her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: It's one of my true guilty pleasures, and tonight, I sit down with a real-life Olivia Pope. She's Judy Smith, and she's on speed dial when politicians or celebrities find themselves in hot water. I'll ask her how she would handle Toronto's crack Mayor, Florida's cocaine Congressman, the ObamaCare fiasco even Alec Baldwin and his tussle with paparazzi. That's all coming up. I want to begin though with our big story, the crash that killed "Fast and Furious" star Paul Walker who was a passenger in the Porsche Carrere GT owned by his friend Roger Rodas' company, always evolving both died when the car slammed into a light pole and burst into flames on Saturday. Jim Torp heard the crash and run to try to help rejoins me live from the scene of the accident.
Mr. Torp, thank you very much indeed for joining me. Obviously, devastating things sort of happened not just for all his fans and his family but if everyone who was at this event that you were at a charity, then tell me what the event was and how he had seemed at event itself before this crash?
JIM TORP, EYE WITNESS, PAUL WALKER CRASH: The event was a Toys for Tot annual toy drive that Paul Walker and Roger put on every year. This time, this event was for the victims of Indiana, the tornado, the victims of course of the Philippines and also for tourist for Gods for the kids in here California. The event was a success. We had our great big turn out. There are a lot of beautiful cars here and lot of great people here. Somebody -- shortly before this accident happened, someone had brought in $850,000 with the toys which made Roger and Paul so excited. You know, they're both kiddy and happy and everything else because this was a great turnout all the way around.
MORGAN: You saw him leave, I believed, in this Porsche Carrere, it's a 2005 model. It was a very high powered car estimated value about 450,000 dollars. When he left, did you have any idea how of long they'll be going to be out in the car or they due (ph) to come back in it?
TORP: Well, when Roger and Paul drove by us, I was standing by several of the cars, a Ford GT and a Ferrari that belongs to a friend of mine and they said "We'll be back in five minutes." That was the last thing that we heard from them before the accident happened.
MORGAN: And the first you knew there have been a terrible accident, what was wrong. What did you see on here?
TORP: Well, I heard the car go by us and, you know, I heard them go through their gears and then drive and I said "Hey, there goes the Porsche" and "Oh, looks great, everything's nice." And within two minutes of having them go by us, I heard a big terrible, horrible crash noise. At first, I didn't want to believe and I said "Wait a second, I think they were in a car accident." I called my son over and I said "Brown (ph)", I said "Get up for the car accident" and he goes, "What car accident?" And I say "I think, Paul and Roger were just in a car accident." He said "Why?" I said "They're small."
So he took up, be came up here right away to see what he can do and to see if there was an accident. I was asking other people at the event, some of the employees and staff as well to get up and then see if there's an accident. Some of Paul's friends came up here not knowing how bad it was. And when I got here, of course, you saw what happened.
MORGAN: We've got some a clip here of Paul Walker's father actually at the scene today getting very emotional. Let's watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL WALKER SR, PAUL WALKER'S FATHER: That was probably get (ph) in his life. He was always doing stuff for us. He gestures -- he just -- his heart was so big.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Make me sad, obviously for all the family and indeed for his millions of fans around the world, it's been a great outpouring of a grief for Paul Walker's death.
Tell me this, Jim Torp, you said that they intended to go out for about five minutes. How long have they been out when you saw them get past you seconds before the crash?
TORP: They're gone -- it seem like five minutes but it was longer. They're gone about 20 minutes.
MORGAN: And what were they doing in that ...
MORGAN: What were they doing? Were they just testing the car, just playing around with it? Why don't you describe the activity that they were engaged to ...
TORP: They were just going around the block. They were just driving the car.
MORGAN: And what kind of speed you think?
TORP: (inaudible) test driving the car.
MORGAN: What kind of speed?
TORP: Well, you know, I never sound really go fast so it's kind of hard because when they pull out of the parking lot, they were going very slow. We had a highway patrol man that was down in the end of the street to stop people from drag racing or doing anything else because this areas known for kids drifting out here. You know, unfortunately that is the way it is. There's a lot of kids and that little toy and stuff thing that come out there. And they drift which they put a lot of tire marks out on the middle of the street which makes it look like they did something wrong. But the tire marks don't compare to the tires on the car.
MORGAN: So from everything that you've seen at the scene, none of those tire marks that we're looking at now could actually have come from the Porsche itself?
TORP: That's correct.
MORGAN: And that is because the tires are much wider on the Porsche, is that right?
TORP: The tires are much wider on the Porsche than what's Honda or Toyota, these tire marks are six to eight inches wide, the minimum size tire on a Porsche is 12 to 18 inches wide or wider.
MORGAN: There's obviously been huge speculation about what may have happened, a lot of speculations focus to whether they were speeding at high speed. Nobody seems to really know. Remember the thing that you have seen and gleaned from the scene there, what would your best guess be about the likely cause of what happened here?
TORP: Well, of course something tragically happened, so I'm not being by (ph) on the vehicle I can't speculate on exactly what it was or anything else and I'm not even going to try to guess because two of our friends had passed in this. I know there's an investigation going on. The sad thing is, is they went out -- they went out for a drive, we were winding down and, it was only supposed to be for a couple of minutes and the tragic thing is there's so many speculations about drag racing, doing donuts doing, you know, drifting around the corner, that never happened, that never happened. Because when they passed me, there were no cars next to them, in front of them, behind them, or on the side of them, they were by themselves. So it's impossible for somebody to make an accusation saying that they're drag racing and they were part of it.
MORGAN: And finally, Jim Torp, obviously, you knew him well, he leaves a 15 year old daughter Meadow and his girlfriend. How would you describe Paul Walker for those who didn't know him?
TORP: Well, from what I, you know, from what I know of Paul with his charitable company with Ro, the guy would take the shirt of his back to help you. Paul and Roger are both the same way, you know, they both were doing this to help other people, they've done it in the past and they're going to continue on doing it, making all -- these two people were great guys. And unfortunately this happen to them, you know, I want everybody to understand that no matter what they see here at this crash, two people died. They put on an offense, their event was to help people, they left excited and they never made it back home, they never made it back to the shop. And the sad thing is, for Roger, he leaves behind a wife and two children.
I saw their pain I felt their pain when they left that night, Paul Walker, he leaves behind his girlfriend, his assistant who is his best friend. He leaves behind Nute which is one his best friends that he grew up with. He leaves behind a 15-year old daughter Meadow. And I can just feel what they're going through because I know what my hearts going through, you know, hanging out with these guys, and my son always went to the races with them and did stuff and, you know, as friendship with these guys. So, my son was the first one on the scene, he tried to put the fire out on the car and he was unsuccessful at it as well as Nute and several other people. There are 20 people that were trying to put the fire out as well as the Fire Department, the Fire Department did their job and they did a very good job at it.
MORGAN: Well, Jim Torp I thank you very much indeed for joining me. I'm so sorry for you and everyone that knew Paul Walker and just -- it's just one of those awful tragedies and I appreciate you coming on and talking about it tonight.
TORP: Well, thank you very much.
MORGAN: Now, I want to bring in Matt Belloni, who's executive editor for the Hollywood Report. And Matt, it's obviously a terrible story of this, you got a young actor right in his prime in the middle of this enormous franchise, billion dollar movie franchise, and one his best friends both killed in this accident regardless of the circumstances behind it and we still don't know that and it could well remain a mystery.
Tell me about where he was Paul Walker with his movie current, in particular with the Fast and Furious franchise which I think was in the, it was seventh movie which is pretty much nearly finished, right?
MATT BELLONI, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORT: Yes, I mean another sad part of the story is that Paul Walker was in the middle of probably the best part of his career. The Fast and Furious franchise had never been stronger, the six film grossed more than $600 million this year. They were in the middle of filming the seventh film in the franchise and he would -- had signed for an eight film as well. They didn't get to finish that, they're on a break for Thanksgiving scheduled to go back this week and obviously that's not happening.
MORGAN: In terms of how movie studios deal with this kind of thing, it's not completely unusual, we had Heath Ledger of course in The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, we had John Candy in Wagons East, Brandon Lee in The Crow, and Oliver Reed in Gladiator, all big stars who died during the filming of movies. How the movie studios deal with this kind of crisis when it happens?
BELLONI: Well that's the situation the Universal Studios is in this week, they're really trying to figure out exactly what to do. First and foremost, I think, everyone agrees that, you know, the mourning period and letting the family grieve and all the actors and cast and crew associated with the film kind of address this and deal with it in their own way. But then they do have this question of what to do? This is a gigantic movie franchise, the movies have grossed $2.6 billion.
And, you know, they have shot a lot of footage of this film. And I think what's happening right now is they're going back, they're looking at what they have, they're thinking about how they can put this together whether they need to do rewrites, whether they need to conceive additional things in this movie to move forward and finish it in some way.
MORGAN: The irony of course is not lost in anybody that he was part of this "Fast and Furious" franchise of racing cars. We actually have a clip of Paul Walker in real life talking about his love of cars and speed. This is in 2001. Let's watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL WALKER, ACTOR: He's been drive racing since -- I don't know, basically as long as there's been cars, he's been drag racing. I think that -- I think you see the downside to doing it. There's nothing to be worse than 120-mile an hour blowout on a surface street, you know, pedestrians lining up and down, you know, it's just common sense. It's not just worth the risk factor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Its interesting hearing isn't it, Matt, talking that pretty sensibly, pretty responsibly. And certainly, from the eye witness I talked to earlier, he seemed to be strongly ruling out any sense of high speed racing or drag racing or doing tricks in his Porsche. I mean, are you picking up anything in Hollywood from anyone there about what may have gone on here?
BELLONI: Well, you know, the thing is everybody who's ever worked with Paul Walker, the people that we spoken with have really said this is an outstanding guy, you know, he was nicest guy on set, those kinds of comments, you know. He did have a taste for this car racing and kind of the real life "Fast and Furious" kind of lifestyle but it wasn't the kind -- people didn't described him as reckless. They didn't described him as one of, you know, sort of adventure type that was not considerate of others around him.
You know, obviously, we don't know exactly what happened on Saturday but the people that we've spoken with had really not said this is a dangerous type of person.
MORGAN: Matt Belloni, always good to talk to you. Thank you very much indeed for joining me.
BELLONI: No, problem.
MORGAN: And a very sad last day of Paul Walker, terrific young actor.
Coming next, you've seen Kerry Washington playing Olivia Pope on ABC's Scandal. Tonight, the real-life Olivia Pope joins us which is Judy Smith. And she's ever been a crisis she can't handle? I'll talk to her live. That's coming next. Then, she is formidable.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If we handle this right, it's a bump in the road and how you handle it will help show your leadership ability and define your character. But you're going to have to fire Candice (ph) to make an example of her.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Define my character by firing Candice?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's called making a tough choice, a painful one, the right one. The voters will respect you for standing up and doing the thing that no one wants to ever have to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Brilliants, Kerry Washington along with Lisa Kudrow in ABC Scandal, my delicious guilty television pleasure, addictive, that is fictional and yet the real life inspiration with the character of Olivia Pope is right here with me tonight. Judy Smith is the number crisis manager expert with clients have included Paula Dean, Kobe Bryant and Monica Lewinsky. Her new book is "Good Self, Bad Self". She's also a producer of "Scandal" and Judy Smith is in the chair tonight. Welcome to you.
JUDY SMITH, AUTHOR: Thank you, thank you, thank you.
MORGAN: Is that the real power, right. When I watch Scandal, I'm "Oh, Olivia Pope is so powerful but she doesn't really exist", presenting the same people with Kerry Washington, you are the real deal.
SMITH: Oh, thank you, thank you, glad to be here, I'm in a hot seat tonight.
MORGAN: Now, to clarify the link, I want to play a tape, this is of Kerry talking in real life about you because you're the inspiration to her role. Let's watch this. SMITH: All right.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KERRY WASHINGTON, ACTRESS: Nobody told Judy that I thrive on research that I really -- I tried to get as much information, real information as I can. Judy didn't know that so Judy said, "Call me anytime, here are my numbers", you know, in the beginning. Now, she goes, "What?" because I'm always calling.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: I mean, Kerry wasn't fairly shock, I mean, it's not -- but people really don't want chase, it's very addictive because instead of a pop drama, pop comedy, it's a really interesting way that they've made it, isn't it?
SMITH: It is, it is, it has a lot of twist and turns, I think Shonda Rhimes is done in amazing job at dramatizing it for television, it's great. And I never thought -- I didn't know how important sex was at 10 o'clock. But I am feeling it, I know that.
MORGAN: Is that lethal computer of sex and scandal, isn't it?
SMITH: Yes, it is.
MORGAN: I mean, in all the work you do, you look after all sorts of people, from celebrities to world leaders to presidents and so on, you work for presidents, you work against presidents. What is the most difficult crisis, generically, to manage in your experience?
SMITH: I think probably the most difficult one is that sort of combination that you mentioned that sex is politics, it's corruption for the media has all of those things that are just sexy and juicy so I think those are pretty ...
MORGAN: You handled Monica Lewinsky against the Clinton administration. What was it -- was it like the way Scandal portrays the scandalous stuff involving the president, is that what is really like in real life?
SMITH: Well, I mean, when you think about it, it's the President of the United States and of course all eyes are watching you and how you navigate through a crisis. So it was one of those 24/7 nonstop can't make one mistake.
MORGAN: But you didn't have to deal with that.
MORGAN: Which you would now is Twitter, Facebook, social media, I mean, it must be a very difficult addition to the armory of how to deal with a scandal because, you know, as a king, I'd say that the Paul Walker story which is tragic story. Within minutes, the rumor mail (ph) bust on social media, it was doing a 150 miles an hour, they were raising, they were this. And so, most of it seems to be in dismissed out of hand and it may all be completely untrue. And how do you deal with that particularly development now in the process of a scandal?
SMITH: I think social media has made my job so much more difficult. You know, you can have someone at home blogging in their jammies and all of a sudden, it becomes fact and it's all over the world and it's very hard to beat something like that back, very hard.
MORGAN: What is the best way to kill a completely false rumor? I talked to somebody who works for the Israeli government recently. And they said because of this development in social media, their strategy is to kill it spoondate (ph), the moment anything crazy blows up which could be potentially damaging if people believe it, they hammer the false rumor
MORGAN: -- into the ground as fast as they possibly can.
SMITH: You have to -- you have to nip it in the butt. You have to nip it in but if not it gets legs so it just spreads around and now you have a problem quite frankly of people picking it up for the news outlets and then quoting the outlet that first run the story and it just picks up steam but if you don't nip it in the butt kill it like a bug it will just keep going.
MORGAN: Alec Baldwin is the perfect example of somebody who loves social media --
MORGAN: -- but also has a fiery temper when it comes to the paparazzi. Let's' take a look at his encounter recently with paparazzi down here in New York.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: A lot of bleeping.
MORGAN: A lot of bleeping. Yes.
SMITH: A lot of bleeping going on there.
MORGAN: A lot of contentious debate are exactly what he said.
MORGAN: He denies categorically being homophobic others are not quite so believing of him. I like Alec...
MORGAN: He's been a guest of the show many times I think he's a fiery character but he's fun.
MORGAN: I also don't believe instinctively from his track record with gay rights and so on that he's a homophobe but he clearly lost his temper here.
MORGAN: But it was in a private situation, outside in San Pablo with paparazzi hounding him and his family and so on. You use to run ironically NBC Corporate Communications.
MORGAN: And he is obviously being a big NBC star, if you were doing that old job. How do crisis manage Alec Baldwin with this kind of scenario?
SMITH: Well, I think if you are sitting in that position the network is going to weigh how the audience feels. They're going to weigh what kind of feedback and they're going to weigh advertisers and they're going to weigh what he said and I think in this case that clearly came down on the fact that they have to make a change. They had to make a change.
MORGAN: When somebody erupts in anger and says something that is offensive but you know from their own sort of track record or something whether it's a politician or an actor whatever it was, you know from their previous statements on things the way they may have voted to the politician that they're not that person. They're not that person in real life. Does that help? Is there any easier way to manage it?
SMITH: Yeah. I think that helps tremendously because the public already knows that particular person and so they have sort of a reservoir of good will which I think it's it is great. Look I think Alec did the right thing. He came out. He apologized which I think is important. I think what's going to be critical moving forward is what he says. And how he says it that I think generally speaking the American public is forgiving --
MORGAN: Right to take his show off air after the series.
SMITH: I think they made the decision based on what they thought was important to them and I think the network has the right to do that.
MORGAN: Even thought Martin Bashir, one of their cable guys came out with a comment that many people believes or analogy about slavery and Sarah Palin and so on which many believe is much more offensive and yet he remained on air is there a hypocrisy there or double standard? SMITH: I think that they have to look at each case and they're going to look at quite frankly where they're getting pushback from how people reacting to it. Is it going to affect the advertisers that they get for the show. So I think its case by case basis. Yeah.
MORGAN: Talking of case by case let's get suck into ObamaCare after the break --
SMITH: All right.
MORGAN: -- because it's been an unholy mess and you worked at the White House. I want to know what you would do now is there anything that can be done to save ObamaCare?
SMITH: Well --
MORGAN: Don't answer now --
SMITH: All right.
MORGAN: Your grimace has said it all.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Erin Burnett, this is CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF US: I think it's fair to say that the rollout has been rough so far, and I think everybody understands that I'm not happy about the fact that the rollout has been, you know, wrought with a whole range of problems.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: President admitting that the rollout of ObamaCare is not being his finest hour, to put it mildly. Well, back with me now, a woman who may just have some answers putting out this debacle. Judy Smith the country's number one crisis manager and inspiration of the character of Olivia Pope on ABC's Scandal. She's on the chair tonight, this has been an unmitigated disaster.
SMITH: I have to agree. I don't think we've seen a disaster like this in a while.
I think it is very problematic really because this was the administration's the President. It was his signature piece of legislation. And I think everybody agrees that the initial were allowed has been an absolute mess. The President has apologized for it.
I think the question is going to be how he moves past this?
MORGAN: And the problem seems to me is that he, you know, it's all very well said that we got a few things wrong. The real thing he got wrong is that he out there front and center and repeatedly told a pack of hawkies (ph) as we would say in England. Let's watch this little clip here showing him in action.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: You like your plan, keep your plan. If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. If you like your private health insurance plan you can keep it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: See, there's the transparent. This was I'm going to change Washington. Look at me, you can trust me.
MORGAN: And I mean, that to me is pretty damaging to the Obama brand. I think coupled with the fact this is all about new technology. He's supposed to be geek President, the guy that wins elections with the most brilliant...
MORGAN: ... underground infinite campaign imaginable. And he can't even roll out his own flagship policy.
SMITH: Yeah, look. I think what this, the President has lost a lot of trust with the American public and a lot of confidence in particular in a business community. I think now he's got to make sure that he sets expectations and timelines that are actually realistic.
MORGAN: Is it too late? Is it terminally damaged ObamaCare?
SMITH: I don't think it's too late. I do think from a legacy perspective that I think the way that this was rolled out will probably have some effect on that though.
MORGAN: Does it, Republican Senator John Cornyn and let's watch what he had to say today about this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN CORNYN, (R) TEXAS: I think the current administration has taken lying to a new level.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That was John Cornyn I'm sorry not Joe. I mean taking lying to a new level, when you're the President of the United States, that's a pretty serious accusation.
SMITH: Well, it is. But look I think you also have to look at the politics of it, which is whether you're on the right or the left, I think the thing that people can agree on that this was not handled the correct way. It was by no means efficient and effective and you got to fix it.
MORGAN: So you're in a room ... SMITH: You got to fix it.
MORGAN: ... at the White House now ...
MORGAN: ... and you've been there before ...
MORGAN: ... with Presidents from George Bush Sr. to others.
MORGAN: You're in that room in the Oval Office and you've got Barrack Obama opposite you and he says, "Come on then, you're the expert Judy Smith ...
MORGAN: ... get me out of this mess." What is the best way he can do it?
SMITH: Two things. One is he's going to have to apologize which he did. I think the second thing is you need to make sure that your technology is right that it's on target and you ...
MORGAN: Then you have to fire somebody.
SMITH: Well I ...
MORGAN: Doesn't Kathleen Sebelius have to be sacrificed for the greater good?
SMITH: Well I think somebody needs to be held accountable ...
MORGAN: I mean in Scandal ...
SMITH: ... right?
MORGAN: ... people get fired, right?
SMITH: Yes, they do. Yes, they do. Because - look I think with anything that you do in particular when it's wrong, there are consequences for your actions, absolutely.
MORGAN: And if you're the President and you don't fire somebody lower down the rung.
MORGAN: All the heat comes to you.
SMITH: That's exactly right. And it shouldn't. It shouldn't. I think ultimately as President, you have to take responsibility but as President and as a good leader, you hire people around you that are good and responsible.
MORGAN: Would you tell him to fire Kathleen Sebelius?
SMITH: I would probably tell him that some of his have to roll for it, absolutely.
MORGAN: Including hers?
MORGAN: There's nobody more appropriate, right?
SMITH: Somewhat. Yes.
MORGAN: Let's talk about the runners to who maybe the next President particularly Hillary Clinton. Obviously you were directly involved in a lot of the scandalous stuff that went on with the Clintons representing Monica Lewinsky but ...
MORGAN: ... is any of that stuff going to stick when it comes to a Hillary run as most people expect her to do?
SMITH: Yes, I think Hillary has an amazing track record. I think she has a good team around her. I think that she can point to so many accomplishments that she's done. And I think people will judge her by her work.
MORGAN: Chris Christie? Is his weight a genuine issue for the American people after a fifth athletic President who turned out to be not quite what people thought?
MORGAN: Does it matter that Chris Christie is a big guy?
SMITH: You know what? I think that I hope that the public would focus on selecting a President based on where they think the country should go, what the policies and practices of the President and not really based on weight.
MORGAN: But if you were advising him? Would you say it right? He's obviously lost a lot of weight in the last few months. So would you say to him, right you've got to have a proper game plan by the time you launch a run or don't launch run in a couple of years. You've got to be down to this kind of weight otherwise forget it.
SMITH: No. No. I wouldn't say that.
MORGAN: You wouldn't have this conversation?
SMITH: No. I wouldn't say that.
MORGAN: Olivia Pope would I think, isn't she? She'll say, cut it. SMITH: I think what you want to say is that you want to be as anybody would be that you want to be healthy and each person decides that for him.
MORGAN: But you have to be presentable.
SMITH: Absolutely. You have to be presentable. Of course you have to.
MORGAN: Well, does it funny now after the perfect Barrack Obama, who's a perfect physical specimen to many people's eyes.
MORGAN: Does it matter or is that he's somebody very different? Someone who is much more of a regular kind of guy who likes cheeseburgers and beer and - but appears to be a straight talker. Somebody perhaps more of a straight talker than it is ...
SMITH: And I think that people ...
MORGAN: ... Barrack Obama turned out to be?
SMITH: Yes. And I think people are responding to that with him. Those are the kinds of things that they'd like and I think those are the kinds of things that people will look for in a President.
MORGAN: Let's take a little break. When we come back, I want to get stuck into Toronto's crack Mayor Rob Ford. Is he the ultimate challenge for anyone like you or Olivia Pope?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROB FORD, MAYOR TORONTO, CANADA: Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When sir?
FORD: ... but no -- do I -- am I an addict? No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When do we see...
FORD: Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors, probably approximately about a year ago.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Toronto mayor, Rob Ford with ones of the most shocking admissions in political history. Judy Smith, there are lots of sticky situations with somebody (inaudible) what would you say to poor old Rob Ford?
Before we go any further, if you're watching and you want to tweet questions to my guest tonight. Somebody -- Joseph Galena (ph) just tweeted, "Judy Smith abysmal and tonight's awesome. She's the real Olivia Pope. I can see why."
SMITH: Thank you.
MORGAN: They lost of that.
SMITH: Thank you.
MORGAN: A lot of people are still saying smart suit like Olivia.
MORGAN: Is the suit a key weapon as someone in your position? Does it send a signal of "Don't mock with me?"
SMITH: I hope so. I think how you present yourself is always important. Yes. A good suit can't go wrong.
MORGAN: What do you do with Rob Ford? He's a popular mayor in Toronto with a lot of people. Poll ratings haven't really been affected.
MORGAN: And he admits to snorting crack cocaine amidst the buying, amidst the all sorts of stuff.
SMITH: Yes. Yes.
MORGAN: Would you take on a guy like him?
SMITH: I wouldn't. I wouldn't. I mean he's done all of those things. He has been trying to position himself by YouTube channel, or radio show, a TV show which is all amazing to me. He needs to resign.
MORGAN: What's worst for a politician, drugs or sex as a scandal, or corruption?
SMITH: That's a hard one.
MORGAN: Drugs, sex, or corruption?
SMITH: I say drugs. Let me say why I say drugs because the reason why the mayor here said that he used cocaine when he was in a drunken stupor is because people tend to think that American public will digest better if you have a drinking problem than whether you have a problem using crack cocaine. So -- but it's a deadly combination. I mean, for you guys, this case is probably a gift that keeps on giving that early Christmas present because it has crack, it has drugs, sex, and all of it, you know.
MORGAN: When you -- I had to say that the scandals involving Weiner, Spitzer, Petraeus...
MORGAN: ...all different types of characters in different jobs but you put them all together...
MORGAN: ... as life has moved on and morality has changed around America about many of these things. When you see, you know, much more liberal views on things like cannabis, whether it should be legalized, gay rights, and so on, should we still be pillaring and driving out of office, people who are in political life who have personal transgressions?
SMITH: I think two things. I think elected officials are held to a higher standard by far, I think people were taken into consideration what they do during their public life and what they do during their private life and then having said that. I will say that people are much more forgiving in particular I think in the area of inappropriate sexual conduct. But I think the key to it is admitting it. You have people like Anthony Weiner.
SMITH: You have folks like Senator Edwards and those folks did not come out readily and admit that they had done something wrong.
MORGAN: And if you do come out and admit it, you have to admit everything right. You can't leave the tap dripping.
SMITH: No. That's exactly right.
MORGAN: And you can't go back like Anthony Weiner didn't turn the tap back on?
SMITH: No, no. It's like you'll be in a half way pregnant, either or you're not. There's no middle ground on that, no middle ground on it.
MORGAN: Is it (inaudible) when you sit down with the politicians, some particularly politician who's been caught up in a sex scandal, is he embarrassing when you sit there and they have to unburden themselves to be sitting with Olivia Pope on the show?
SMITH: Yeah. I mean, I've done it so much so for me, it's not. I think for them it is because when you think about it, usually, when I meet people with their worst time in their life and yeah, you have to tell a complete stranger, "Well, I actually didn't have sex only with one person. It was 20 (inaudible)." And that sort of embarrassing, I would think. Yeah.
MORGAN: Are you ever so shocked you just can't carry on with the conversation?
SMITH: Not shocked. Not shocked. I, you know, we've been doing a lot of things. I've been doing it for 20 years. I've been involved in attempted coups and sex scandals and all sorts. It's not -- not shocked, not shocked.
MORGAN: What determines whether somebody cannot only survive a sex scandal but become beloved like a Kennedy, like a Bill Clinton, and yet others like Spitzer or a Weiner get crucified? What is it that makes the difference in how you come through and end up potentially being very popular again?
SMITH: Yeah, I think there are three things. I think one is the message. It's how you message the scandal which involved in how you talk about it. I think it's coming out and admitting it and I also think it's -- there's a time and a place for a come back and I think those things have to be carefully mopped out.
MORGAN: Let's take a look at this. This is how scandal a TV show handles a politician going through a sex scandal. (inaudible).
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have nothing. You have a pile of secrets and lies and you're calling it love. And in the meantime, you're letting your whole life pass you by while they raise children and celebrate anniversaries and grow old together. You're frozen in time. Your holding your breath. You're a statue waiting for something that's never going to happen.
Living for stolen moments in hotel hallways and coat closets. You keep telling yourself they all add up to something real because in your mind, they have to but they don't. They won't. They never will because stolen moments aren't a life so you have nothing. You have no one. End it now.
MORGAN: Back with me now, the inspiration for ABC's hit show "Scandal" Judy Smith. Getting loads of great Twitter. Tweet me @PiersMorgan if you want to join in this debate. Somebody here, I.G. power publicist says, what does Judy listen to first, her heart, her head, or the facts when taking on a new client. Really good question.
SMITH: That is a great question. I would say I'll listen to the facts first. And the reason why I say that is because the facts are tricky. I think a lot of times when people are in crisis, they want to look at facts the way want them to be and not the true facts. So it gets a little distorted there. So, I think the facts are important first.
MORGAN: How scandalous is your life? Is it anything like Olivia Pope's...
MORGAN: ... who is consorting with the President. Having affairs with other military guys, a father's (ph) killing everybody, I mean, it's pretty out of control her life
MORGAN: ... is yours like that?
SMITH: No, no, no, not... MORGAN: Anything you want to share with me about the previous Presidents?
SMITH: No, no, no, not sleeping with any President. I will say though, I did find out that my kids, I have two sons, they are using the show to pick up young girls. I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe it...
MORGAN: Well Scandal actually has I think one of the biggest social media presences. I mean, tonight, our Twitter is blown up with you being on because it's "Scandal" related.
MORGAN: And the show itself always is huge on Twitter and Facebook and so on, isn't it?
SMITH: Oh yeah. And now, we're so grateful for everybody that tweets and that's watching and supporting the show.
MORGAN: Let's take a look at one of the great moments from "Scandal" this is where Olivia gets down and serious.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only reason I can come up with for why you'd be in so deep is because you were his mistress.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Five, that's sexist and insulting. You'd never suggest who (inaudible) was screwing Dick Cheney. Four, the length you're going to try to twist this into a conspiracy are cause for concern. You should speak to someone about that. Three, the President is awake and talking and the suggestion that he isn't is parties in political crap that I thought you had enough integrity to rise above. Two, in the past three minutes, you've called me a criminal, a whore, and idiot, and a liar, so this is pretty much the last time we'll be speaking. So one, who I am or am not screwing, what I am or am not doing is no longer any of your damn business.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: She is absolutely fantastic isn't she?
SMITH: We love it, we love it.
MORGAN: And Kerry I know you're probably watching you are fabulous and you should come on the show and be fabulous here too. But do you think like that? Is everything base it in your head a quick check list of boom, boom, boom, boom are you like that?
SMITH: Yeah, I mean you have to be, you have to be. The thing that is so amazing that I think about the character on the show and it's something that I really try to practice in my work is that you have to be strong. You have to be honest and forthright when you are given advice and you have to present people with real options.
MORGAN: Do you have to be available 24/7? Is that a reality?
SMITH: It is 24/7 a little bit of sleep and yeah, you have to be I guess.
MORGAN: How much sleep you get?
SMITH: About five hours a night, I'm good on five.
MORGAN: It's just relentless isn't it?
SMITH: It is, it is it's not that kind of job that if you want to have a nine to five. I tell you all watching don't go into crisis (ph) it doesn't work like that, it doesn't work like that.
MORGAN: Do you watch the show?
SMITH: I do, I do.
MORGAN: Because I know you helped produce it but did you watch it?
SMITH: I do, I do, I tell you one day it was very funny. I'm not home a lot on Thursdays at 10:00 but I always watch it and so I was really tired that day and I came home, I took a shower, put my jammies on, put my hair in a pony tail and pop some pop corn and got a glass of wine and I came and I sat on the sofa and I cut on the TV and what did I see? I saw Olivia Pope sitting on the sofa drinking a glass of wine and popcorn. So it was one of those moment, one of those moments.
MORGAN: There's a brilliant bit on the book at the end, it's called thoughts on navigating a crisis and I'm going to read it quickly because it's actually a great template on what to do and I mean lots of people watching this. Rich powerful, famous people probably thinking, what will I do if all goes to (inaudible) is the expert, the real life Olivia Pope.
One, trust your guts. Two, know the facts, know what you want them to be. What they actually are. Three, never assume you know everything. Four, the truth always comes out it's only a question of when. Five, read the climate, know the landscape. Six, know where you want to end up. Seven, know when to hold and when to fold. Eight, admit you're in trouble. Nine, don't overreact. Ten, you will know when to walk away. Eleven, things should get worse before they get better. Twelve, expect the unexpected. Thirteen, crisis occur irrespective of one's fame, power or prestige so deal with it.
SMITH: All true.
MORGAN: Tough talking words.
SMITH: It's all true, it's all true. As a matter of fact those principles I gave Shanda (ph) before the show started.
MORGAN: Did you?
SMITH: I did, I did. All true and those are hard, those are hard. You know a lot of people usually get into trouble of a basic premise. We don't tell the truth and then we make it so difficult because we put lies on top of truths and then we go here we go there.
MORGAN: You always assume, because people when they come to you I guess, they're normally in trouble, they're normally that in itself will make them emotional. They're normally desperately praying everything doesn't come out. Is your first thought, how many lies are you about to tell me in the next 10 minutes, if you're honest.
SMITH: Well yes, I would say...
MORGAN: Is it human nature to just basically start by not giving you everything.
SMITH: I think it is human nature because it is hard to tell someone the truth. I mean really you have to come complete stranger and say, I messed up, I really, really messed up. That's hard to do. So, I assume when I'm talking to a client that the truth might take sometime to come out.
MORGAN: I have some signature questions I'd like to pro guess on the show, we're going to ask you that.
SMITH: OK, all right.
MORGAN: I'm going to ask you, what would you advice clients, the type of answer they should be thinking. One of them is how many times have you been properly in love? If I had one of your clients sitting there, knowing that I would ask that, what would you tell them to say?
SMITH: I would say, don't count the women that are natural wife, no, no, no.
MORGAN: Would you tell them to be honest with that answer?
SMITH: Yes I would, honesty is always the best policy. I know it's tough but yeah, honesty works. When in doubt honesty works, you should go for it.
MORGAN: The other two I might actually throw to you. One is, if I could let you relive one moment in your life that wasn't getting married, having kids stuff like that, what moment would you choose? What's been the greatest moment of your life?
SMITH: Oh god that's a tough one. It doesn't really have anything to do with work actually. I think one of the moments that have meant a lot to me was when my mom was sick and I was able to take care of her and so that was a good moment for me. Because I was able to get back to her some of which she gave to me.
MORGAN: And if you, being a control freak as I'm sure you have to be in your job, what would you like your epitaph to be. If you could write the tombstone?
SMITH: What I wanted to do?
MORGAN: Here lies Judy Smith.
SMITH: To try to help people and make a difference.
MORGAN: That's a good way to end it. It's a terrific book, good self, bad self, how to bounce back from a personal crisis, anyone who's in trouble or about to be in trouble, take this book and digest what you knew. It's been great to meet you.
SMITH: Thank you, thanks for having me.
MORGAN: Good to see you. Scandal of course airs on Thursday nights on ABC, 10:00 and I'll be (inaudible) as I always am, we'll be right back.
MORGAN: That's it for us tonight don't miss the new late night here on CNN at 11 Don Lemon, host the 11th Hour is the drug war over? Colorado gets ready for the legal sale of marijuana not just for medical use but for fun, is that good for America? Let's follow the 11:30 Eastern by Brooke Baldwin with the highlights of the day here on CNN in case you missed it. AC360 later starts right now.