During a Twitter Q&A on Tuesday (July 30), Ava DuVernay shared some very sad news regarding Korey Wise’s former girlfriend that was not portrayed in When They See Us. In response to a fan question DuVernay revealed that Wise never reconnected with his then girlfriend, Lisa (portrayed by Storm Reed in the film).
DuVernay via Twitter:
“I’m sorry. Korey never reconnected with his girlfriend from the time of his arrest. Sadly, she passed away before he was released from prison 13 years later.” DuVernay also mentioned that Wise says “Rest in Peace” whenever he speaks on Lisa.
I’m sorry. Korey never reconnected with his girlfriend from the time of his arrest. Sadly, she passed away before he was released from prison 13 years later. Whenever Korey mentions Lisa to this day, he always adds “Rest in Peace.” I truly hope she is. #WhenTheySeeUs https://t.co/rBkofABUcT
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) July 30, 2019
In case you haven’t watched the film, let’s do a Phatgyrl breakdown:
In the film, Wise (portrayed by Jharrel Jerome), bails on his pizza date with Lisa to go to Central Park to hang with friends. Wise, only 16 at the time, later agrees to go to the police station to support his best friend, Yousef Salaam, after law enforcement seeked to question Salaam about the rape of Trisha Meili, now known as the Central Park Jogger. Wise, Salaam, and other teenagers, Raymond Santana Jr., Kevin Richardson, and Antron McCray, were all wrongfully convicted of Meili’s rape and sentenced to prison.
Out of all the Exonerated Five Wise got handed down the longest prison sentence, 13 years.
Wise experienced a lot of hardships while locked away, from being in solitary confinement during most of his incarnation, enduring unspeakable abuse, to losing his sister all which plays out in the film.
Since his release from prison in 2002, Wise has become an advocate for criminal justice reform.