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Nothing is known about Cleo's past except that she was Egyptian (from Egypt) who was previously a failed runway model until she turned to a life of crime, eventually working her way up to the top to join V.I.L.E. Faculty.
Some years ago, She along with her fellow Faculty members, dispatched a young Shadowsan to spy on and assassinate (if necessary) Dexter Wolfe, their fellow faculty member, after discovering him going off the grid longer than normal and moving V.I.L.E. assets into personal Swiss bank accounts. However, Shadowsan failed in his mission, due to the Interpol interference and a young agent shooting Wolfe dead by a young chief, and instead brought back Wolfe's baby daughter (who would later grow up to be Black Sheep and Carmen Sandiego) back to the Isle.
Cleo was very reluctant towards letting a baby live there, and was quite disgusted at the idea of raising her, mainly due to how she values refinement and the fact that babies are rather messy. However, she agreed after the child showed potential in thievery. She and her associates then awarded Wolfe's vacant seat to Shadowsan in return for his deed.
During the hard-drive incident, Cleo voiced that Black Sheep must be punished. Since Carmen left the island, Cleo has been collecting thirty-three of the thirty-four paintings of Vermeer; the only one she hadn't stolen was the 'Woman in Blue Reading a Letter'.
Carmen stole the painting herself in order to steal the remaining paintings back. Cleo extended an invitation to her dinner party to Zack, who was thought to be the Duke, an accomplice of the mysterious Duchess, the thief who stole the last painting, who, in reality, was Carmen.
Upon arriving at Cleo's Chateau, Zack was greeted by the Countess who escorted him to the banquet hall. Cleo welcomed the various criminal overlords who would bid on the stolen paintings.
Before dessert could be served, agent Devineaux barged in and stated that there was a female thief in the building. This worried Cleo, before the clumsy agent revealed that he was talking about Carmen Sandiego.
Now knowing that Carmen had been there, Cleo cancelled dessert and went to check the painting, only to find that they were all gone.
After Carmen stole back the paintings, Cleo told the Cleaners to "scrub" the manor.
When the V.I.L.E Faculty were discussing the connection between Carmen Sandiego and Inspector Devinoux, Cleo pointed out that Devinoux invaded her Swiss chateau during her pre-art auction dinner party, giving Carmen the time she needed to steal back the stolen paintings. The Countess then voiced regret over suspecting "The Charming Duke" of being Carmen's inside man.
Cleo was surprised that Shadowsan agreed to go deal with Devineaux himself and was later seen outside to see him and Coach Brunt off.
SCleo seems to be inspired by Cleopatra, who was famous for her unique fashion sense which influenced society even today and possibly a reference to the Contessa, a recurring villain from Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? game show.
In "The Fashionista Caper", Carmen states that Cleo was a failed runway model before turning to a career of crime.
In "The Egyptian Decryption Caper", Cleo reveals that she is originally from Egypt to Tigress.