KING, Judy

Judy King (portrayed by Blair Brown), “the one with the plantation kinda vibe going on, but in a fun way,” is a character based on Martha Stewart who is of high interest to Taystee, Poussey, and the rest of their group. She is sentenced to jail for tax evasion, whereas Martha Stewart was sentenced for insider trading. Red is disgusted with her for putting “cream in her carbonara. It’s revolting.”

While Judy King doesn’t appear in the series off of the television until the final episode, her appearance at Litchfield betrays the fact that she decides upon this prison instead of another last-minute.

Upon processing into Litchfield in season 4, she immediately takes a liking to Joel Luschek, the first face she sees in Litchfield. Since they aren’t prepared for her, she is temporarily designated as Poussey Washington‘s bunkmate, who, being her biggest fan, flips out at the sight of her. But she is soon switched into her own private room (which could have easily fit four to six more inmates in this time of overcrowding) with Erica “Yoga” Jones.

Her privilege doesn’t stop there. Besides having four walls, an accent rug, a reading light, her own table and chairs, and a single bed, she is also permitted to use the staff bathroom and read magazines while she’s in there.

She is immediately granted access to the produce from the garden, despite the fact that she has done no work to raise the plants or cultivate the land, and learns to butter up Healy so that her stay is as comfortable as possible. When he sets up a cooking class for her, however, she soon learns that she’s not as in-control of Healy as she originally thought. When he refuses to let her turn down the class, claiming that the prison has decided what is “best” for her, she is forced to accept the job, even though she feels as though she’s done her share of charity work when on the outside.

Outside of Healy’s office, she finds that she’s a local celebrity, being chased by not only the inmates but by paparazzi drones as well. The one person she does choose to have around her, though, is Luschek, who begins to bellyache about his guilt surrounding his involvement in sending  Nicky Nichols down to Maximum Security in their plan to smuggle heroin out of the prison. When she can no longer take it, she calls up her lawyers and has them get her out of Max and back into the Litchfield general population. Though he never asked her to, she uses this to make Luschek do her bidding and keep her company.

Just as King feels as though she’s about to enjoy her time to herself and learn Italian for her trip to Italy after her sentence, an old segment from a racist puppet show she made in the ’80s goes viral, causing the population of Litchfield to regard her as a racist old lady, and Jones arranges to have meals sent to her and additional security to protect her.

Feeling awfully isolated and misunderstood, King approaches Poussey in hopes that she could “forgive her” for her past wrongs and break the ice with the other inmates. In exchange, she helps her friends get their paparazzi picture to sell to the media and runs into the prison yard to plant a big kiss on Cindy. Although the women benefit from the photo, they cannot help but feel that King used them to clear her name and to prove to the world that she is not racist.

When Caputo suspects that she and Cindy had something to do with the photo, they insist that their relationship is real and are forced to perpetuate the charade for a while until she processes out of Litchfield.

When Poussey is killed, King’s lawyers scramble to get her out so that the press doesn’t attract additional attention to Litchfield. Upset that her friend is dead, she refuses to use her contraband cellphone to call the police for fear of doing anything against what her publicist and lawyer has told her to do. However, just before she can leave, the guard taking her out, C.O.  Humphrey trips and has his gun pointed at him by Daya Diaz.