Olivia Pope
Portrayed by Kerry Washington
7x18 - Olivia Pope 14
White House Character
Biographical Information
Full name: Olivia Carolyn Pope
Born: January 31, 1977
Age: 41
Status: Alive
Residence: Washington D.C.
  • Liv
  • The Fixer
  • Livvie
  • Julia Baker
  • Jules
  • The Black Lady
  • Alex
  • Ruth
  • Helen of Troy
Past Occupations:
  • Command of B613
  • White House Chief of Staff
  • White House Communications Director
  • Founder of Olivia Pope & Associates
  • Mellie Grant's Campaign Manager
Physical Description
Gender: Female
Hair color: Black
Eye color: Brown
Current Relationship:
Past Relationships:
Character Information
Also portrayed by: Yara Shahidi
First appearance: "Sweet Baby"
Final appearance: "Over A Cliff"
Appearance Count: 124

I am many things, stupid is not one of them.

— Olivia to Eli Pope, It's Handled

Olivia Pope worked at the White House as a communications director. She later quit the job and founded her own consulting firm Olivia Pope & Associates, which is now renamed "Quinn Perkins and Associates" after being given to Quinn. She was the Chief of Staff of President Mellie Grant before her resignation and Command of B613 before it was dismantled.


Olivia Pope is the best fixer in D.C. A title earned first by getting an underdog candidate elected President, she's kept it up by being the invisible hand behind problems that seem to disappear as quickly as they came. She doesn't just fix problems, she fixes people. They come to her at their lowest moment, on the worst day of their lives. Olivia takes on the biggest scandals of the era, all the while trying to hide the fact that she's one of the key players at the center of it all. This is particularly embodied by her forbidden love affair with Fitz otherwise known as Fitzgerald Grant, the President of the United States.[1]


Early Life

Olivia Carolyn Pope was raised by her parents Maya Lewis & Eli Pope (aka Rowan Pope). She was made to believe that her mother died in a plane crash when she was twelve years old. After her mother's death, she never returned to her family's home. She went to boarding school, then Law school, and finally, got a job working on Fitz's presidential campaign. She later quit the job and founded her own firm as a crisis manager.

In 2006, Olivia had weekly Sunday dinners with her father, Eli Pope, she agreed to do dinners with him so he'd pay for her law school tuition. They briefly stopped having dinners when Olivia learned what her father really did for a living. But she returned for a few more dinners and introduced Eli to Edison Davis, her fiancé. After Edison was in a car accident that Eli arranged, Olivia stopped having dinners with him altogether. Years later, when Jake was thrown into the hole because of disobeying an order from Rowan, Olivia wanted her father to release Jake from the hole. She made a deal with him to resume Sunday dinners if he released Jake. Jake was released because of the deal and they started having Sunday dinners again.

When Olivia was twelve years old, her mother "Maya" was on board Flight 522, en route to London when it went down. Believed to be an engine failure, Olivia believed that her mother died in the plane crash.

Season One

Season Two

Olivia seems to have been mentored both by Cyrus Beene and Verna Thornton, molding her into who she is today.

She worked as a media relations consultant on Fitz's campaign. Her professional relationship with President Fitzgerald Grant III led to an extramarital affair, which she had intended to end after Fitz' inauguration into office. After he won the election, she became his Assistant for Communications, also known as The White House Director of Communications. They continued their relationship, but just as they revealed their feelings for each other, Olivia realized that Mellie, Fitz's wife, was aware of the affair. Olivia then resigned from the White House and formed Olivia Pope & Associates. (Happy Birthday, Mr. President)

Along with Cyrus, Mellie, Verna, and Hollis Doyle, Olivia was part of the election-rigging conspiracy Defiance, which stole the election and put Fitz into the White House. (Beltway Unbuckled)

Olivia and Verna, with Huck's help, saved Lindsay Dwyer after Hollis Doyle used Becky Flynn to frame Lindsay for the bombing of Cytron, which killed Lindsay's boyfriend, Jesse Tyler and six of his fellow co-workers at Cytron. (White Hat's Off, Happy Birthday, Mr. President & Truth or Consequences)

Over two years later, Olivia sent Harrison Wright to hire Lindsay Dwyer now Quinn Perkins to be the newest associate at Olivia Pope & Associates. Olivia and Huck were the only two of the associates that knew who Quinn really was. (Sweet Baby)

Season Three

Season Four

Main article: Olivia Pope's Kidnapping

Olivia was kidnapped and held captive by Andrew Nichols with the intent to start a war against West Angola.

Season Five

Season Six

Season Seven


In the future, a portrait of Olivia is hanged inside the National Portrait Gallery among the Presidents and First Ladies of the United States. The placing of this portrait indicates she might have become President of the United States sometime after Mellie.


Olivia attended all of the best boarding schools: Saint Anne's & Surval Montreux. She then attended Princeton where she received her undergraduate degree in Political Science. She moved on to Georgetown Law where she met Cyrus for the first time. (It's Handled)


Olivia is the crisis management consultant who founded and ran the Olivia Pope and Associates. She was formerly a White House Communications Director but resigned. When Mellie decided that she wants to be the president, she went to Olivia and asked for advice. Although Olivia told Mellie that she can't work for her, Mellie insisted. Eventually, Olivia took charge of the campaign, and served as the Chief of Staff for Mellie. She was Command of a covert agency in the intelligence community called B613. For a brief period Olivia frequently gives college lectures.



Edison Davis

She was Edison's girlfriend and ex-fiancé; they lived together in Georgetown from 2002 to 2006. They began seeing each other again years later. Their present day relationship grew rocky however, as she refused to open up to Edison about the relationships she had while they were apart. Olivia wants to keep her past romantic and sexual relationship with Fitz Grant from him, but Edison is persistent, growing increasingly frustrated with the emotional stonewalling. Edison proposed to Olivia for the second time, but Olivia finally turned down the proposal, realizing she wants a difficult, painful love rather than a normal one.

Fitz Grant

Main article: Olivia and Fitz

Olivia first met Fitz Grant when Cyrus called her in to help with the campaign. Their meeting is shown in the flashbacks of the season one episode The Trail. Not long after she joined the campaign, they began to develop feelings for each other. As much as Olivia wanted to be with Fitz, she knew an affair could mean political suicide for him; yet, Fitz is persistent. After he's elected, Fitz told Olivia that he loves her. The sexual tension between them continued, even after she left the The White House once Mellie discovered the affair.

Beltway unbuckled 16

Olivia and Fitz

The two of them had been on and off with their relationship until they officially became a couple later when Fitz divorced Mellie. Unfortunately, not so long after they started dating and made the relationship official, things became ugly between them. When Fitz proposed Olivia, she turned it down at first but accepted it after. Then, after she decided to release her father from prison, she gave the ring back to Fitz. However, Fitz forgave Olivia about releasing his son's killer from prison and moved her into the White House. Not so long after, the relationship ended with Olivia feeling like she's trapped in the White House and not wanting that life anymore. She then left the White House and Fitz.

They rekindled the relationship when Mellie was about to become president and Fitz was about to leave the White House but, things between them ended again as Fitz had to leave to Vermont for his presidential library.

Fitz came back to D.C. when Rowan told him that Olivia has gone over to the dark side of the power. He tried to "fix" Olivia which she refused. He then stayed at D.C. and ran the Fitzgerald Grant Institute together with Marcus Walker while trying "fixing" Olivia. After Olivia resigned from the White House Chief of Staff, they reconciled and worked on a few cases together. In the series finale, after the two of them exchanged their "Hi", it is indefinite whether they get back together or not as things can be interpreted in many ways.

Jake Ballard

Main article: Jake and Olivia

Olivia met Jake ten months after the death of Verna Thornton. Their relationship sparked up fast and has been on and off throughout the series since then. The relationship between the two of them is really complicated as Olivia tends to go back and forth between him and Fitz. Jake knows Olivia more than she knows herself. Jake knows the dark side of her but he can look past it and still loves or be there for her no matter what. Olivia is very open and vulnerable when she's with Jake. After Fitz was re-elected for his second term, she went to a secluded island with Jake for two months. They stayed as girlfriend and boyfriend after they came back from the island and until Olivia was kidnapped. Olivia was in a bad place after the kidnapping and didn't want to see Jake or Fitz as she considered them as her past. After they've successfully put Rowan in jail, Jake told her that he is in love with her but if she loves Fitz, she should just be with Fitz and let go of her.

5x18 - Jake Ballard and Olivia Pope 07

Olivia and Jake

She then went to be with Fitz but things didn't work out with them and she left Fitz. She hooked up with Jake six months after the breakup and things seemed just physical between them until Jake got engaged to Vanessa. After Jake told Olivia that Vanessa is just a mark and he is still in love with her, they kissed and spent a night together. Jake then admitted to Olivia that he doesn't want to marry Vanessa. When Jake said he wants to be with her and asked if she wants to be with him too, Olivia nodded and kissed him. Olivia suggested that Jake jilts Vanessa at the wedding in order for them to be together but Rowan already knew their plan and threatened Olivia that if Jake doesn't marry Vanessa, he would kill him. Jake then married Vanessa. In Over A Cliff Jake is thrown in jail after the existence of B613 is brought to life, leading to the assumed end to the Jake-Olivia relationship that started in a coffee shop.

Franklin Russell

Main article: Olivia and Franklin

After she was released from being kidnapped, she said to Cyrus that she didn't want to see or hear about Jake or Fitz anymore because she considered them as "her past", she now had to move forward and she tried moving forward by going to the bar, where she met Russell. The two of them had sexual relationship until she found out that he was a B613 agent who stabbed Jake almost to death in her firm as Rowan, her father, ordered him to. He is unsuccessful and is shot by Rowan, unbeknownst to Olivia, so she will bring him to the hide out where Jake is also being cared for. Because Jake is either unconscious or too tied up and weak to speak he cannot name Russell as the hitman. Russell takes another opportunity to kill Jake but is still thwarted and not found out. Olivia soon made the connection that he is B613 when info from the hideout gets back to Rowan. She confronted him with a gun to his head in the middle of what he thought was going to be foreplay.

Curtis Pryce

Olivia made her appearance on Curtis' talk show to push the "Vargas Bill" and the two argued about free college on Television. Curtis asked her out to dinner later on. Olivia didn't take up the offer at first but eventually met Curtis at a bar, took control over, gave him the instructions of where to meet her at a hotel and then, left the bar. The two continued seeing each other until Curtis came clean to Olivia about how he made a mistake with her, thinking she had "human qualities". He told her he doesn't like her and he is only attracted to her because of her beauty and her power. He then broke it off with her. Pryce was later killed by Lucy Riccio at the order of Jake Ballard


Eli Pope

Main article: Olivia and Elijah Pope

Eli Pope was revealed to be Olivia's father when his men from B613 rescued her from a media circus - where it was revealed that she was Fitz's mistress - and escorted her to Rowan's limousine. (White Hat's Back On)

After the death of her mother, Olivia was distant from her father. It was not until she needed money for law school that she resumed a relationship with him. She agreed to have Sunday dinners with him, but only because he paid for her law school tuition. Dinners didn't last too long; after Olivia learned the truth about her father - what he really does for a living - she stopped the dinners. Sunday dinner's started again, but only because he manipulated her into them. (Guess Who's Coming to Dinner)

One of the best things about Olivia's relationship with her father is how, for as much as she hates him, he knows her. He at one point accuses her of being like all the silly young women who came to Washington with so much promise, but then they just spread their legs for a powerful man. As bad as he is, you feel his disappointment in her for not learning the lesson that "we have to be twice as good as they are," which means that any indiscretions or mistakes she commits will leave a much greater mark on her reputation and limit her job prospects. (More Cattle, Less Bull)

Maya Lewis

Maya Lewis is Olivia's mother who was thought to have died in a plane crash shot down by Fitz during Operation Remington. However, before it went down, she was taken off the plane under a different name and was living in hiding since the crash when Olivia was 12. When she escapes from Rowan (aka Eli Pope, her ex-husband) and returns to Olivia she expresses hoe disappointed she is to see Olivia has no man or child and runs with thugs. Maya turns out not to be the mother Olivia thought she was, she is a mercenary and no longer one to mince words or comfort her daughter.


Stephen Finch

Stephen and Olivia were partners when Stephen worked at the OPA. They had good friend relationship and Olivia even helped a lot when Stephen wanted to propose his long time girlfriend Georgia. Later he quit OPA, moved to Boston and married Georgia. When Olivia was kidnapped and auctioned, Stephen was the one who saved Olivia from the people who auctioned her. After thanking him, Olivia offered his job back but he declined the offer.

David Rosen

Olivia considers herself a friend of David's. And although he did consider them friends in a complicated way, he told her they are no longer friends after a friendly threat. (The Other Woman) Their friendship remained while David investigated the Cytron bombing both in and out of work. David learned more and more that he shouldn't have known which ultimately ended his career as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. (Nobody Likes Babies)

Ten months after Olivia and her gladiators get David fired he finds himself in need of help from a fixer. So he calls up his old friend Olivia to help him after he wakes up in bed with a dead woman next to him. (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot) Since then he has been an on-and-off again client of Olivia Pope & Associates, setting himself up to the newest "Gladiator in a Suit". (Molly, You in Danger, Girl) Even after everything Olivia's done to David, he in a way betrays her by stealing the Cyrton card from her office safe after spending several nights on the OPA couch and trying over a thousand combinations. He used the card to get himself back in the U.S. Attorney's office, which allowed him to help Olivia take down Billy Chambers as the mole inside The White House. (White Hat's Back On)

Abby Whelan

Main article: Olivia and Abby

Olivia and Abby have been friends since college. When Abby was stuck in an abusive marriage Olivia rescued her with the help of a tire iron. Olivia brings her onto her crisis management firm after she leaves the White House. Abby questions all of Olivia's choices and why she has so many secrets, but nonetheless, she always has her back.

They have a falling out after Olivia leaves the country indefinitely, only to return for Harrison Wrights' funeral. And their relationship remains strained until Olivia is kidnapped and Abby will do anything to save her best friend. They continue to be at odds while Abby works in the White House, bothered by Olivia's undue influence over the president, Fitz Grant, and how that undermines her at the job. And they also go toe to toe again when Olivia finds herself working on Mellie Grant's presidential candidacy run while Abby is backing Vice President Susan Ross' presidential candidacy run on behalf of Fitz.

Mellie Grant

Main article: Mellie and Olivia

Mellie and Olivia have had a love-hate relationship (currently hate): Olivia was her husband's mistress; he has even admitted to loving Olivia and not Mellie. The relationship of the three is very complex as a result. As Olivia is the crisis management consultant, she has needed to fix the things that went wrong in Mellie and Fitz's relationship for the sake of the public. Although Mellie always hated Olivia, Olivia was the one she told about her rape and her affair with Andrew because Olivia was the only one who could help her.

When Mellie decided that she wants to be president, she went to Olivia and asked for advice. Olivia told Mellie that she can't work for her, but she doesn't listen. Olivia then helped Mellie through writing her book and eventually she runs Mellie's presidential campaign. They become good friends and look out for each other now that they work together and both have dissolved their relationships with Fitz. Olivia did her best to make Mellie president and eventually, when their dreams came true and Mellie became president, Mellie made Olivia her Chief of Staff but she was forced out. Their relationship was negative until Mellie found out that Olivia was right about the Air Force Two hijacking and they work together again to try to get justice.



Main article: Olivia and Huck

Huck is dear to Olivia because they're two of a kind. She says they live on the dark side of the moon. Huck is a skilled ex-assassin whose tech skills and other specialized government training comes in handy when Olivia needs to get down to the bottom of something. Huck first met Olivia in 2005 (estimated) at a subway station on her way to one of her father's dinners. After he saved her from some guys trying to mug her, using his B613 training he mysteriously disappeared, but later returned after Olivia forced her father (aka: Command) to return him and their relationship continued when she took the subway. (Guess Who's Coming to Dinner & Seven Fifty-Two)

While he still remained homeless she considered him an ally and used him for his computer skills from time to time, as well as his stealthiness to tail people and gain useful intel. (The Trail, A Criminal, A Whore, An Idiot, and A Liar & Happy Birthday, Mr. President)

After a few years of seeing him homeless she finally helped Huck - or rather she "fixed" him - by giving him a place to live and a clean shower... which he really needed! (Happy Birthday, Mr. President) And their relationship continued. She called upon him to rescue Lindsay Dwyer from being wrongfully prosecuted for an crime she didn't commit; he took Lindsay from San Jose, CA to Washington D.C. Olivia also asked him to set her up with a new identity... Quinn Perkins. (White Hat's Off & Truth or Consequences)

Quinn Perkins

With Verna Thornton and Huck's assistance Olivia rescues Lindsay Dwyer from being falsely framed for the murder of her boyfriend and his six co-workers. Two years after Huck sets Lindsay up with a new identity, Quinn Perkins, and moves her to D.C. Olivia hires Quinn to mentor her and keep her close. In White Hat's Off, Olivia helps Quinn get off of the murder charges with Verna's persuasion to the presiding judge. As her boss, Olivia worked really well with her and Quinn quickly became able to handle things and take responsibilities of the firm when Olivia is not around. When Olivia became the White House Chief to Staff, she gave the firm to Quinn, as she trusts her.

Harrison Wright

Olivia helped Harrison out when he got arrested; she then takes him under her wing and asks him to join Olivia Pope & Associates once she forms the crisis management firm. Besides Stephen, Harrison seemed to be the closest associate to Olivia. And after Stephen's departure Harrison quickly became Olivia's right hand. After being briefly roped back into the chaos of the White House after an assassination attempt on the president, Olivia would leave Harrison in charge of OPA some days. Harrison caught wind of Olivia and the president's relationship before the other associates. He broke Abby and David up for Olivia, no questions asked. Harrison was also given a file of clients that owed OPA favors by Olivia after she feared being outed as the president's mistress would be the end of her. Until his untimely death Olivia seemed to believe he would be her true successor.

Cyrus Beene

Olivia and Cyrus get along well sometimes. Cyrus mentored Olivia and is also a good friend. He taught her a lot of what she knows. Olivia is the godmother of his and his husband's daughter, Ella. In Beltway Unbuckled Olivia uses what Cyrus taught her against him to help her client. She made him the Vice President after Luna Vargas' death and they now work together.

Verna Thornton

Verna Thornton was another one of Olivia's mentor. Olivia was there for Verna to help not only professionally but personally as well. Verna was one of Olivia's clients. Olivia helped her keep her illness - cancer - from the public and Olivia sat with Verna during her chemotherapy treatments. Their relationship ended badly; whilst Verna was on her death bed Olivia realized that she ordered the assassination of President Fitz Grant.


  • Olivia paces in circles when she is troubled by something she considers a serious problem. She does it in perfect circles when she's really worried.
  • The address for Olivia Pope and Associates is 1970 K. Street, Washington, D.C., 2006.
  • Olivia's date of birth is inconsistent throughout the series. In earlier seasons, it was implied that she was born in 1979 around September but in the episode 7x12, it showed that the birthday is January 31, 1977 which is also Kerry's birthday.
  • Olivia was on the swim team in high school.
  • Olivia has one rule when it comes to her clients; "Do not lie. They lie, all bets are off!".
  • The character of Olivia Pope was originally named Olivia Price.
  • She is the only character who appeared in every episode of the series.
  • Both Gabrielle Union and Taraji P. Henson auditioned for the role of Olivia Pope.
  • The character Olivia Pope was almost played by the actress Connie Britton except Shonda and the team wanted a black lead.[2]
  • Olivia Pope was named as one of the top ten best-dressed characters of the year in 2013 by Vanity Fair.[3]
  • Olivia knows 18 languages, including Spanish, Farsi, Russian, Swahili, Cantonese and Urdu.
  • The character is inspired by the professional life of real-life crisis management consultant Judy Smith.
  • The final scene of the series suggests that Olivia Pope eventually became the President of the United States at a time in the future since her portrait is displayed on the second floor of the National Portrait Gallery, which displays only the portraits of the Presidents of the United States of America.


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