Samira Wiley’s ‘OITNB’ writer girlfriend files for divorce from husband
An “Orange Is the New Black” writer who was actress Samira Wiley’s Emmy Awards date back in August has reportedly filed for divorce from the guy she married just months before joining the staff of the women’s prison show.
Lauren Morelli and Steve Basilone, also a TV writer, have filed for divorce jointly, according to TMZ, which obtained documents it said illustrated an amicable split. Makes sense that it’s not ugly: Morelli has referred publicly to her estranged husband as “the person I loved most in the world.”
But while the divorce filing is new, most of this saga has been out there for months.
Morelli went public with her sexuality in a May essay for Identities.mic that was written about six months after she and Basilone -- who’d been together for six years before tying the knot -- decided to end their marriage.
The writer had gone to New York with “OINTB” in 2012, only five months after getting married, only to realize she wasn’t straight after all. In the first season of the Netflix series, lead character Piper’s feelings for her former lesbian lover Alex are reawakened when they find themselves behind bars together, and Piper’s relationship with fiance Larry suffers. Working on those characters and storylines, especially in a “remarkably intimate” writers room, paved the way for Morelli’s realization, she said.
“In Piper and Alex, I’d found a mouthpiece for my own desires and a glimmer of what my future could look like,” she wrote in May.
She said she “shamelessly borrowed” lines from her own life and put them in the Piper and Larry’s mouths as the characters’ heterosexual relationship crumbled on the show.
“I went through it all on set: I fell in love with a woman, and I watched my life play out on screen,” Morelli said.
She and Wiley have been dating since at least the beginning of this year, according to the Daily Mail, and their recent appearance holding hands on the Emmys red carpet made it official. Wiley, who plays Poussey Washington on “OITNB,” was promoted to series-regular status in June after appearing in almost every episode of the first two seasons.
Meanwhile, the situation still has its rough edges.
“Some days you feel on top of the world, like nothing can stop you,” Basilone tweeted Sunday.
“And others you’re on TMZ.”
The third season of “Orange Is the New Black” is due on Netflix in 2015.
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