Since Orange is the New Black debuted on Netflix in 2013 — and Piper Kerman's book on which the series is based on was published in 2010 — audiences have only gotten one side of the story regarding the relationship between Piper Chapman and Alex Vause. Now, for the first time, the real-life Alex is speaking out about what she says really happened.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Catherine Cleary Wolters opened up about her relationship with Kerman. Despite what the Netflix series would have us believe, Wolters said that she and Kerman never had sex in prison. The only time the two were ever in the same facility was during a five-week stint in Chicago when they were both there to testify against a co-conspirator in their case. On the flight there, the two were seated together, and Wolters said Kerman refused to speak to her at all. However, during the time they spent together in Chicago, Wolters told Vanity Fair, “We made some mean dinners together, though, out of cans of cheese, corn chips, and chili, and Piper learned how to communicate effectively through a toilet — a little something you’ll never pick up at Smith.”
While Kerman spent 13 months in Danbury Correctional Institution, Wolters said she served about 20 years between her time incarcerated or on parole for her involvement in the drug ring. Also at odds with the story told on-screen is the portrait of Vause as the older lesbian who "seduced" Chapman. Wolters is also clear that she was not the first woman that Kerman was ever with. "I was not the older sexy, glamorous lesbian who snatched her from her pristine Smith College cradle," she told Vanity Fair. She also claimed that they were never girlfriends, but were "friends with benefits" who had "a crazy mad love affair," and that Kerman was involved in the drug ring before the two became romantically involved, not after, as portrayed on the show.
Despite its inaccuracies, Wolters understands that it is a fictional TV show that must be entertaining. In fact, she's a fan of the show. Wolters said she has watched the entire thing and will continue to watch because she finds the show interesting and the cast incredible, and she likes watching Prepon have lesbian sex on-screen. But she's clear with Vanity Fair, saying that, “This story isn’t about a fun ride through some old familiar haunt, giving me little glimpses and peeks of some fond old stomping ground. Christ, it’s my nightmare."
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