Usually consigned to the supporting cast, eccentric comic actress ZaSu Pitts was occasionally rewarded with a leading role. In Private Scandal, Pitts is top-billed as Miss Coates, the fey secretary of hotshot young executive Cliff Barry (Philips Holmes).
Accused of murdering his boss B. J. Somers (Lew Cody), Barry suspects that Somers' death was a suicide -- but he dare not voice this opinion without ruining the lives of several others.
With the help of obnoxious detective Riordan (Ned Sparks), faithful Miss Coates helps to clear Barry, much to the delight of his long-suffering girlfriend Fran (Mary Brian), the dead man's daughter.
Private Scandal was co-written by Vera Caspary, of Laura fame.