Ava DuVernay Says Korey Wise Never Reconnected With Girlfriend After Prison Release

Ava DuVernay Says Korey Wise Never Reconnected With Girlfriend After Prison Release

In Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us, the miniseries shows how the judicial system robbed five young men of their freedom. Yet, when answering a fan question on Twitter, DuVernay revealed that the time behind bars took more than many realized.

In the series, Korey Wise makes the decision to bail on his date with girlfriend Lisa and go into Central Park with his friends. This changed his life forever as he would have never gone to jail if he didn’t go into the park and/or accompanied friend Yusef Salaam to the police station days later. Wise replays different scenarios of his date with Lisa while locked in solitary confinement. This led a fan to ask DuVernay if Korey ever reconnected with Lisa.

“I’m sorry,” DuVernay began. “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.”


Netflix’s When They See Us retells the story of the Central Park Five. It follows the lives of Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Korey Wise, and Raymond Santana before, during, and after their incarceration in four parts. Yet, Wise’s experience was different from his co-defendants. Because he was older than the others, Wise received a harsher sentence to be served in an adult prison. Most of this time was spent in solitary confinement.

The uniqueness of his story is something the rest of the five and DuVernay find admirable. She recently shared a birthday tribute to him earlier this month.


Today is the day that a king was born. His power is his survival. His strength is his sword. He defeats darkness daily. He endures. He inspires,” DuVernay wrote on Korey Wise’s birthday. “Saluting you today [Korey Wise] I celebrate your life and thank you for letting me be a part of it. Happy Birthday, brother.”

When They See Us has gone on to become one of Netflix’s most-watched shows in history as more than 20 million accounts have watched the series


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