VanityFair got in touch with Cleary Wolters, the real life Alex Vause, to hear her side of the story. Admittedly, had Piper Kerman not met this woman, things would have turned out much differently for her, but Wolters wishes to reassign the blame where blame is due: on Piper herself.
Wolters clarifies that she and Kerman were only in prison together for five weeks and that they did not have sex while in prison, as depicted in the series in the Chicago detention center. On the same flight to Chicago, Wolters claims that Kerman refused to speak to her.
“We were ghosts of the humans we had once been, milling about amongst hundreds of other human ghosts, shackled and chained, prodded through transport centers at gunpoint, moved through holding facilities,” says Wolters from her mother’s house in Ohio. These days, Wolters is just shy of a PhD in information technology, assurance, and security, and exhibits a flair for the philosophical.
Wolters maintains that praying is more intimate than sex. Their relationship had morphed beyond that while in prison.
“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.”
Though Jenji Kohan is less committed to telling Kerman and Wolters’ story as she is to the stories of the millions of women incarcerated in the united states, Wolters posits that it is for the best:
On the whole, Wolters says that the true story would be “so wretched and stinky, it would quite possibly result in a collapsed universe. So I guess it’s a good thing Piper and Jenji stick with the fun little tidbits.”
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