In an interview with Vanity Fair, Catherine Cleary Wolters — the inspiration for Laura Prepon’s “Alex Vause” in Netflix’s hit series Orange Is the New Black — makes clear that she is very, very different from this character. In the show, Alex Vause is the alluring ex of protagonist Piper Chapman, the lesbian drug runner who helped Piper break the law and probably snitched on her so that she’d get in prison. With a setup like that, two ex-lovers in the same prison, of course Alex and Piper fall into an impossible, sexy, illicit reboot of their previous affair.
Which is not what Wolters did in prison. According to her, she was only in the same prison with Piper Kerman, the author of the memoir that inspired the series, for five weeks. The actual true story of their relationship and prison is “wretched and stinky.” Wolters also makes it clear that even though she ran around in the same “Noho lesbian social circle,” Kerman was not her girlfriend, and “Alex” was not Piper’s first lesbian relationship.
Wolters has a memoir that she’s working on called Out of Orange, and she’s studying for a PhD in information technology, assurance, and security. She watches the show, though, because “who wouldn’t want to see Laura Prepon have lesbian sex?”
None of this news is a surprise to anyone who’s read Kerman’s Orange is the New Black, where Wolters was basically a ghost, and when reached for comment, Kerman said the same.