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Claudette Pelage (known as Miss Claudette) is a former main character and an inmate at Litchfield Penitentiary. She was introduced when Janae Watson was assigned to a bunk and is currently in Maximum Security.
Claudette is an elderly Haitian woman who is strict with rules and the appearance of her cubicle.
She is based on Natalie in the memoir, Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison.
Claudette is strict, tidy, and keeps to herself. She wants nothing to do with "drama" among the other inmates. As her friendship with Piper Chapman grows stronger, she shows a kinder and more motherly side. When Larry Bloom does his radio show talking about all the people Piper has met at Litchfield, Claudette is hurt by the things he says about her, and returns to being cold and reclusive.
Claudette is an older woman in comparison to the other characters on the show. She has gray curly hair. She wears violet-red lipstick and has well groomed eyebrows. She also appears very stern.
Before Litchfield Edit
For a list of episodes featuring Miss Claudette's flashbacks, see here.
As a child, Claudette began working at a live-in maid service run by a Creole woman called Tessa in order to pay off her parents' debts. She met Jean Baptiste, the man that introduced her into the maid service (and received a Finder's Fee from Tessa for doing so).
Claudette grew up and became a manager of the same maid service company she had worked for, Clean Makers. Jean Baptiste came to visit her after not seeing each other for some time. He revealed that he had married a woman named Josephine, and he introduced Claudette to her. Claudette was seemingly disappointed when she discovered he had married.
Josephine seemed suspicious of Claudette, saying that Baptiste spoke of her often. She pointedly asked Claudette if it was hard looking after other people's children when she was unable to have any of her own. Claudette replied by saying she had made her peace with it.
She later discovered that one of her girls, Odette, was brutally attacked by a customer, after the girl refused to bathe in front of the other girls due to the bruising. Claudette was horrified. She attended the man's house, saying that Odette couldn't make it and that she would clean in her place. Once inside, she murdered him with a butcher knife, meticulously cleaning the weapon and the house before exiting ("Imaginary Enemies").
Claudette is seen helping Red out in the kitchen after "Betty" the freezer dies. She finds a frozen cat, Red pleads Claudette not to ask about it. Claudette is a little disturbed, and tells her she wasn't going to ("Tit Punch")
After leaving the transfer cells, Piper Chapman is assigned to bunk with Claudette in the "ghetto dorm". Miss Claudette lays down many rules for Piper. On her first night, she makes Piper clean up Suzanne Warren's urine after she urinates over her bunk for ignoring her. Claudette helps Piper out when she accidentally steals a screwdriver from the electrical shop by putting it in her saucepan. Claudette and Piper manage to get past a bunk check by George Mendez. Claudette implores Piper to fix her mess. ("Imaginary Enemies")
Sam Healy informs Claudette that her case could be re-opened due to some changes in immigration laws, and that re-opening the case stood to shave a lot of time off of her sentence. At first Claudette refuses the help, but she later changes her mind and asks Healy to re-open it, due to Jean-Baptiste writing to her, informing her that Josephine has died and asking to see her.
Nicky tells Piper that Claudette won't hurt her, mentioning that the murder she commited was only a rumor and she was arrested for Human Trafficking.
Claudette's court appeal did not end up working out. Immediately after receiving the news, CO Fischer's attempt at disciplining her for no good reason sent her into a fit of rage, and she attacked by trying to strangle her in a hallway with multiple witnesses, which got her sent to Maximum Security ("Fool Me Once")
- Jean Baptiste - Claudette and Baptiste have known each other since she was a child. It is implied she has had romantic feelings for him. After Jean's wife passes away he writes to Claudette, asking to see her.
- Red (colleague) - The pair both work in the kitchen and enjoy each other's company.
- Piper Chapman (former bunkmate, friend) - Piper and Miss Claudette have a rocky beginning until Miss Claudette and Piper get close. Piper then offends Miss Claudette when Larry reveals how she thinks of Miss Claudette for the prison to hear.
- Janae Watson (former bunkmate) - Janae gives up trying to live with Miss Claudette in her cubicle after the way she is treated by her.
- Susan Fischer (attacked) - After Miss Claudette is put in a foul mood after her appeal is denied, Fischer simultaneosuly tries to toughen up on inmates and starts yelling at Miss Claudette. Miss Claudette sees red and begins chocking Fischer.
- Josephine Baptiste (disliked) - When Baptiste introduces Josephine to Claudette, he leaves briefly. Josephine (perhaps unintentionally) offends Claudette deeply by pointing out the fact that she has no children.
- Mr. Jones (victim) - After Odette shows Claudette her bruises after being beaten by Mr. Jones, Claudette takes it upon herself to deal with him by brutally stabbing him to death.
Memorable Quotes Edit
- "Love is not an excuse!"
- — Miss Claudette to Tricia Miller.
- "Hope is a dangerous thing."
- — Miss Claudette
- Miss Claudette is a Taurus.
- As a result of the show being currently extended to a season seven, it has been hinted that the character of Claudette will reappear in the upcoming seasons.