Actress Samira Wiley says it was a fellow cast member from the Netflix series Orange is The New Black who outed her as gay before she was ready to go public with that information.
Wiley, who publicly announced her engagement to her current wife Lauren Morelli, told WNYC’s Nancy podcast that it happened in a magazine article.
Wiley, who plays Poussey on the show, did not name the person.
“Someone from my cast actually, during the interview they were talking about out gay actors in the cast … and they mentioned my name and I saw it in print and I cried,” Wiley said. “I cried a lot.”
She continued, “I had a journey. I wasn’t always super open-hearted … More specifically, that’s something that somebody took from me. You should be able to come out on your own terms.”
The incident changed her life, she said. “I, like, tried to get it taken down,” Wiley told the podcast.
Wiley married her wife, Morelli, a writer on the show, in March 2017 in a ceremony with family and friends in Palm Springs, Calif.
Wiley says her involvement in the show has helped guide her journey through the outing.
“I wasn’t out in the beginning and I think falling in love with Poussey, which is really a thing that happened to me, helped me fall in love with myself as well,” Wiley said.
“I think that if I wasn’t portraying these characters, I wonder how my own journey with my own sexual orientation, how I would embrace that, how I would walk the world if I wasn’t able to embrace the characters that I have been,” she said.
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