The story of the woman who betrayed New York’s elite has been featured in a Netflix series
It’s called “Erfindet Anna”, is based on true facts and has nine episodes. You can see them all starting this Friday.
It’s the big premiere of the week on Netflix. “Invent Anna” is the name of the new series on the streaming platform – the nine episodes can be seen from this Friday, February 11th. It is produced by Shonda Rhimes, creator of Grey’s Anatomy, Bridgerton, How to Defend a Murderer or Scandal.
Julia Garner, an actress who shone in another Netflix series – “Ozark” – plays the protagonist Anna Delvey. Or will it be Anna Sorokin? This true story revolves around a woman who betrayed companies and people by pretending to be someone she wasn’t.
Let’s start at the beginning. Anna Sorokin was born in Russia in 1991 but grew up mainly in Germany. She has one brother and comes from a normal middle-class family. His father was a truck driver and his mother ran a small grocery store.
At 19, Anna moved to the French capital, Paris, to complete a fashion course. For some reason, he took the nickname Delvey back then. Engaged in the fashion world, she began collaborating with the magazine “Purple”. This is how he started working for New York Fashion Week in the USA, the city where he decided to stay.
In New York, Anna pretended to be the heir to a wealthy family in Germany. The aim was to infiltrate the city’s social elite. In the months he lived through this farce, he used invalid credit cards or forged bank documents to live a life of luxury for which he had no money. But he insisted on showing off on social media.
Anna scammed hotels, restaurants, a private jet company and banks, as well as countless people she met at parties or social events. He even started the Anna Delvey Foundation, a rumored arts foundation and private club that served to attract interested donors. In total, he is said to have stolen almost $ 275,000 – the equivalent of about 241,000 euros.
She was arrested in July 2017 for stealing services when she became unable to pay bills at an expensive Manhattan restaurant and hotel. After going to court and the case still pending, he fled to California. Anna missed a mandatory hearing on her case – but she was unlucky. This is because, in the meantime, a person named Rachel Williams, who had been her friend (and also a victim), was collaborating with the police to arrest her. What happened in October of the same year.
Arrested in New York, prosecutors proposed a deal. If he admitted to the crimes and cooperated with authorities, he would serve a sentence that could range from three to nine years in prison. Anna refused, preferring to go to court.
Anna Sorokin’s defense always maintained that she did not claim to be a millionaire heiress. They admitted that she knew she could not live a life of luxury and that she would not be able to repay what she had borrowed from others, but that she tried to resolve the situation before she was arrested.
They further claimed that Sorokin only told petty lies over the course of those months. “Everyone creates their own version of themselves that they want to show the world… Everyone lies when it suits them… and Anna did the same. She couldn’t be 100% honest because nobody would listen to her,” she tried to justify her attorney, Todd Spodek.
In 2019, she was sentenced to between four and twelve years in prison for eight criminal offenses. She also had to pay a fine of around 21,000 euros and return almost 175,000 euros. She was released from prison in February last year, but because she no longer had a valid visa to stay in the US, she was arrested again and remains in custody. You could be deported to Germany.
Since her conviction, her story has been told in a variety of ways. Rachel Williams, the friend who paid for a trip to Morocco offered by Anna after her credit card was declined, wrote the book My Friend Anna. An HBO series on the case is also planned.
Anna Sorokin in real life and on the show.
This Netflix production is specifically based on an article by Jessica Pressler in the same group’s supplement “The Cut” of New York magazine. Therefore, the story is told from her perspective. In the story, journalist Vivian Kent visits Anna Sorokin in prison several times and becomes obsessed with the case, desperate for the big scoop. That didn’t happen to Pressler in real life.
Rachel Williams is another character – played by Katie Lowes. Laverne Cox plays Kacy, a top fitness trainer who has clients from several Hollywood stars and becomes friends with Sorokin. Attorney Todd Spodek is played by Arian Moayed. And there is one more relevant character: Neff (Alexis Floyd) worked in one of the hotels Anna cheated on her and became her friend.
Shonda Rhimes paid Anna $300,000 directly to adapt her story – and while she was in prison she had to host visitors and help produce the series. Anna Sorokin used the money she earned to pay off all her debts.
In an open letter to insiders, he shared his thoughts on the series. “I had long hoped that I would have moved on with my life by the time Inventing Anna came out. I envisioned the series as the conclusion of a long chapter that was coming to an end. Almost four years later and countless hours of phone calls and visits, the series is based on my story and told from a journalist’s point of view. While I’m curious as to how they interpreted all of the research conducted and material collected, I can’t help but feel the dark irony of being locked in a cell in another horrific prison, lost, with a history repeating itself.”
Read the NiT article about lead actress Julia Garner. Click the gallery to discover more news from Netflix (and beyond).