Indie Treadwell Of Love During Lockup Talks Finding Love, Being A Reality TV Star, And What's Next - Exclusive Interview

From "Prison bae" to "Orange Is the New Black," it's clear society has always had a curiosity with the romantic happenings — and prospects — within the penal system. Unscripted series "Love After Lockup," which premiered on WE tv in 2018, takes that interest one step further by documenting the lives of couples who met while one of them was in jail and grew their romance through supervised visits, letters, and video chats. Their latest spinoff, "Love During Lockup," premiered in January 2022 and documents the courting phase for these budding couples. The show has become a massive hit, and no one has shown as much tenacity and personality as Indie Treadwell, who found her behind-bars bae Harry while scrolling through TikTok.

As she told Nicki Swift in an exclusive interview, their decision to appear on the show stemmed from her desire to "showcase [their] love" and the "emotional rollercoaster" that all relationships go through. This season has already seen the couple tackle some major hurdles: Indie's bounty hunter mom was less than impressed by her choice in a lover, Indie consulted a psychic to anticipate Harry's release date and tried uprooting her life to Ohio, and there's been questions of infidelity. Their story is set to continue on the next season of "Love After Lockup" (premiering on March 4), and while Treadwell was tight-lipped about the major updates coming in "Love During Lockup"'s season finale on February 25, she gave us a few hints about what fans can expect to see.

Indie and Harry are showing 'every relationship is up and down'

My first question for you would be why we are here — why did you decide to share your love story on "Love During Lockup," and soon "Love After Lockup?"

I feel like it wasn't a plan. I didn't really think like "Oh, I want to be on reality TV" in general. It just was like [Harry and I] ended up dating and ... I was like, "I want to showcase our love." So I ended up posting a video on TikTok and then it went viral and then [the producers] reached out to me like, "Hey, do you want to be on the show?" And I'm just like, "Okay." But I had never seen the show prior to that, so I didn't know what it was about.

I did see, like in my TikTok comments, everybody was like, "Oh y'all should do 'Love After Lockup.'" I'm just like, "I don't know what that is, but okay guys." I think the biggest thing for me is I just wanted to showcase our love. You know? I feel like everything is like roller coasters. Every relationship is up and down, but I just want to showcase the positivity of our relationship, because you can have one, even though they're in prison.

Definitely. So, have there been any updates with Harry's release? I assume so if we're going to see you guys on "Love After Lockup."

Yes. So definitely some updates and y'all have to tune in to see.

Okay, that's fair.

But a lot definitely happened.

Their love story began on TikTok ...

Great. You found him on TikTok too, right?

Yes. I was scrolling on a late night and then he popped up on my page. It was weird because like ... you know how some people be like, "There's a prison side of TikTok," but I never visited that side. So it's not like I was like looking for it. It just literally, it just appeared. I was like, "Hmm, I'm not going to do it." And then literally like a day later, I sent him a message and I did it. So ...

I know it's funny with those algorithms. Sometimes you're not even looking for it.

Yes. I was just like, this is strange. I was like, this is weird. Like, why is this? And I didn't know that was a thing, because people [were] like, "Oh my God, welcome to the prison side of TikTok." And I was like, "There's a prison side?" It was new to me.

If you had told yourself before the COVID-19 pandemic that you'd be dating an inmate and on a reality show, would you have believed it?

Hells no. Not at all because I feel like with COVID, we had a lot of time on our hands to just like be on social media. You know? Just scroll and scroll and scroll and so it's just I feel like ... I guess everything happens for a reason, because had the pandemic not happened, then I probably would've never came across him. So, you know? Everything happens for a reason.

... And they're mostly enjoying their newfound fame

Definitely. What has your relationship been like since the show started airing? Has Harry seen any of it? What does he think about it?

It's so funny because I watch the episodes, but he doesn't. He's like, "Ugh. Yeah. Like whatever." He's not really paying that too much mind. I think he likes the attention, but ... It's like, "Oh, okay. I'm getting a little attention," but it's really like, "Yeah. I'm not really feeding in." He don't really want to go over the episodes really. Most of the times I'm sending clips or stuff like that to him, but he's like, "Eh. Yeah."

He's like, "I already lived it. It's fine."

Yeah. He's like ... "I lived in there, I don't need to watch it too."

But it hasn't changed things too much for you guys since you've been on TV?

Not really. I feel like it's the same. Sometimes if I'm out or he's out, like somebody may be like, "You look familiar or where do I know you from?" But other than that, he's just like, "Eh." This is like a regular day to him. His DMs though are in shambles, like females. Oh my God. Oh my God. "Are you still with Indie? Are y'all open to a third?" It's just weird messages.

You're like, "Sorry. Got there first."

Yes. Got there first. Sorry. Y'all should have been on TikTok.

Their love story will continue on 'Love After Lockup'

So, your mom was a big part of the last season and I know a lot of people, myself included, can relate to the idea of like a family member getting involved with a relationship. How has that been for you guys off screen?

I think it's for my mom, because it's been a while now ... a little over a year, she's used to it now. I know originally she was like, "What? That's what we're doing? Girl, are you okay? Are you okay? Mental health check." But now it's just like for her, it's just regular. Like she's just like, "Hmm. Okay." You know? Still for her, the verdict is out. She still needs to see him. You got to show and prove to her, but I know it's regular for us.

Are we going to see any more of her or other family in the next season of "Love After Lockup?"

Sure. Definitely.

Very exciting. What is something that you think people wouldn't expect about dating an inmate?

Hmm, I think people wouldn't expect for you to make real connections. I know a lot of times it is, in certain cases, it could be jail talk and stuff like that. But you are creating genuine connection because you're talking about deep stuff, like childhood traumas. You're going through stuff because you don't have nothing but time to talk, so you're getting like to the root of things and that creates real bonds when you're talking about your life. It's like you're talking 24/7, so if it was like you're in the real world and you're talking to somebody normal, you might go on a date like on the weekends or every other weekend or something like that. But when you're talking to an inmate it's every day. It's 24/7, so if anything, I feel like the connection is stronger.

Now they're reality star royalty

So now you're a bit of a reality show star. Have you always been a big fan of unscripted TV? Did you watch any other kind of shows before this?

So, for sure, yes. I watched like "Teen Mom," "90 Day Fiancé," some of the "Love & Hip Hop." Definitely was watching reality TV, for sure. Like in my younger years, I was heavy in it, but as I got older, I pick and choose what I want to watch now.

Well, that's cool now you're amongst them.

And then I'm on it. I know. That always feels so weird to me to say that.

I know we can't get into too many spoilers, but is there anything, any word or sentence you can use to preview what people can look out for in this new season?

Emotional rollercoaster. I think that's what we're on. Emotional rollercoaster is this season.

Nice. When did you guys film it?

Mm, I feel like ... How long ago was that? I feel like we wrapped up, maybe I want to say a couple of weeks ago and we was filming for quite some time. So it's a lot, some of it is still pretty fresh, but [there's] some of it that was already filmed.

Sweet, well I think that's about it. We'll be tuning in and I can't wait to see the "emotional rollercoaster."

Yes, it's going to be a wild one.

The season finale of "Love During Lockup " airs Friday, February 25 at 9 p.m. ET on WE tv.