Netflix’s newest original content drama Narcos, chronicling the life of cocaine drug lord Pablo Escobar, is very intriguing because sometimes facts can feel outlandish but many of them are actually true. While the fictional portrayals unfold, viewers become more curious about the real people who lived the story. For example, there is a real woman behind the character Valeria Velez: Virginia Vallejo.
So, who is Virginia Vallejo? Well, she's a journalist who did have a relationship with Escobar for five years. But, according to her official website, she’s known for a lot more than that. Vallejo is a Colombian journalist, author, and media personality who currently resides in the United States after seeking political asylum in 2006. Vallejo’s life was threatened when she began to speak out against politicians associated with the cartel. She was granted asylum and has testified in many cocaine-related trials. Her best-selling Spanish language memoir, “Loving Pablo, Hating Escobar” will be released in English next year. And, Penelope Cruz will play Vallejo in a movie based on the book opposite Javier Bardem as Pablo Escobar.
Because Vallejo’s name was changed for the Netflix show, certain creative liberties can be made with her story. But, Stephanie Sigman’s strong performance of Valeria Velez just makes audiences want to know more about the real Virginia Vallejo. So, to satiate that need, here are some photos of Virginia Vallejo, the real life woman behind Narcos’ Valeria Velez.
1. She Came From A Wealthy Background
In addition to her work as a journalist, Vallejo was also a socialite.
2. She's Glamorous
Her fashion game is on point.
3. She Named Pablo "The Robin Hood Paisa"
So, that really happened.
4. She Was A Journalist
Here she is with a classic Barbara Walters-esque look.
5. She's On Her Book Cover
With Pablo, of course.
6. This Is What She Looks Like Now
Here is a more recent video of Vallejo posted to YouTube in 2014. Catch more of her character in Season 2 of Narcos when it hist Netflix (likely next summer).
Image: Daniel Daza/Netflix