The real Alex Vause has a few things to say about Orange Is the New Black’s fictional portrayal of her story in the latest Vanity Fair. First off, her name is Catherine Cleary Wolters, and off the bat (at least in the VF story), she says of her relationship with OITNB author and protagonist Piper Kerman, “We did not have sex in prison. Not even a little bit.”
Unlike the rather epic depiction of the Piper / Alex relationship on Netflix's juggernaut series that premiered last July and is due back for its 2nd season in June, Wolters, 51, and Kerman, spent only five weeks in the same prison in Chicago around 2005, she says.
On the series the unreasonably sexy Laura Prepon embodies Wolters, while Taylor Schilling takes on Piper (Chapman on the show).
The real story is just catnip to women’s college students. Wolters tells VF that she and Kerman met in what was hailed as the most lesbian city in the United States in the early ‘90s – Northampton, Mass., which is home to Kerman’s alma mater Smith College, and boasts another Seven Sisters school, Mount Holyoke College, just 10 miles down the road. It was there that Wolters and Kerman met and struck up a relationship, Wolters says. But don’t believe the notion that Wolters thoroughly turned Kerman on to a lesbian lifestyle as depicted in their meeting on OITNB.
“I was not Piper’s first, and I certainly did not seduce her,” Wolters tells VF. She goes on to say that she and Kerman clubbed and traveled together but that they did not hook up until after they’d trafficked heroin or money together.
“When we were traveling together I started developing a crush on her,” Wolters says. “And eventually that turned into a crazy mad love affair. “But that was after she had already done the deed that made her complicit.”
For those of wondering if Wolters indeed ratted Kerman out and named her, landing her in prison, the answer Wolters gives is “yes.” Everyone in the ring named everyone else, she says.
“I named her, she named me, and we all named each other,” Wolters says. “Fact was, we all thought we were doing the right thing, confessing, getting protection, and saving ourselves from certain death at the hands of a Nigerian drug lord who we knew would soon find we had all been arrested.”
Wolters has written three novels and is working on her own version of her story entitled Out of Orange, according to VF. Here's hoping this means Netflix greenlights an Alex Vause spin-off!
Meanwhile, Wolters has watched OITNB, and although she says they don’t get it entirely right, she’s a fan!
“I watched, and of course I’ll watch the rest,” Wolters says. “I can’t help it. It’s a great show. The actors are incredible, the story line is interesting, and come on, who doesn’t want to see Donna from That ’70s Show have lesbian sex?”