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Early Life Edit
Wiley was born April 15, 1987 in Washington, D.C., United States.
Wiley studied drama at the Juilliard School in New York, graduating in 2010. She trained in theater performance and worked mainly in theater in her early career. In 2011 she played Maria in a production of Love's Labour's Lost by The Public Theater.
Wiley's first major acting role was in the 2011 comedy film The Sitter. When the Netflix television series Orange Is the New Black—based on Piper Kerman's memoir of the same name about her experiences in a women's prison—came into development, she was told about the auditions by a friend from Julliard, Marco Ramirez, who was a writer for the show. After she discovered that another Julliard friend, Danielle Brooks, had won a role in the show, Wiley asked Brooks to rehearse lines with her to prepare for her audition for the role of Poussey Washington, the on-screen best friend of Brooks' character. Wiley's audition was ultimately successful; she appeared in 12 out of 13 episodes of the series' first season and was featured throughout the second season.
In between seasons of Orange Is the New Black, Wiley filmed Rob the Mob, an independent crime film directed by Raymond De Felitta and released in March 2014. In 2013, she was rumored to be playing the Invisible Woman in the upcoming film reboot of the Fantastic Four.
Wiley is from Washington, D.C., where her father Dennis W. Wiley and her mother Christine Wiley are the co-pastors of Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ. She has two siblings: Aiyana Kai Maat and Joshua Dhameer Wiley. She also has two nieces and two nephews, Asante, Akaiya, Akina, and Addae Maat. Her grandfather H. Wesley Wiley, also a Baptist minister, was known for being one of the first African American pastors to lead a predominantly white church in Washington, D.C..
Just like her character Poussey Washington, she is openly lesbian.
Since September 2014, she has been in a relationship with Orange Is The New Black writer Lauren Morelli. Lauren was previously married to her husband after 6 years of being in a committed relationship. The two tied the knot 6 months before the series began shooting, but during the taping of the show, Lauren had an “a-ha” moment and all of sudden realized she was gay. The couple got engaged in October 2016.