“This whole story is completely true. Except for all the parts that are totally made up.” If you binged "Inventing Anna" on Netflix, then you probably remember this disclaimer at the beginning of each episode. After its release on Feb. 11, 2022, the show racked up hundreds of millions of views. Everyone became fascinated with the fake heiress and convicted fraudster whose real name is: Anna Sorokin. And how she managed to swindle tens of thousands of dollars out of everyone from close friends to financial institutions.
But after nine episodes, viewers still have questions about the real Anna. And where things stand with her now. So, let’s get into the answers...
First and foremost: is "Inventing Anna" a true story?
Besides a few minor changes, yes. Between 2013 and 2017, Anna dropped her real last name and scammed her way across New York as a fake German heiress named Anna Delvey. She wore designer clothing, stayed at boutique hotels, and had dinners at expensive restaurants. But the truth is, she’s really from Russia and came from a working-class family. And her expensive habits and failure to pay for them eventually caught up to her. In 2019, Sorokin was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison for grand larceny and theft charges.
How much of “Inventing Anna” is true?
The crimes covered in the series are based on cold, hard facts. So is the main character’s alias. Other characters like Vivian Kent — the journalist chasing after Sorokin — are based on real people. In this case, Jessica Pressler is the IRL reporter who published the viral 2018 New York Magazine article about Sorokin’s antics. Rachel DeLoache Williams, Sorokin’s former friend, is also a real person. And claims to have been stuck with a $62,000 bill for a Morocco trip with Sorokin — which she wrote about in Vanity Fair and in her memoir “My Friend Anna: The True Story of a Fake Heiress.”
What about the infamous Anna Delvey accent?
It’s complicated. By design. Anna Sorokin was born in Russia, but she pretended to be an heiress from Germany. So she combined German, Russian, and English accents to make it difficult to pin exactly where she’s really from. So if you were one of the tons of people wondering if Julia Garner was just struggling with her character’s accent — turns out she got it right.
So where is Anna Delvey now?
Correction: Anna Sorokin. She was ordered to pay up roughly $199,000 to banks. (Which she reportedly paid off with the $320,000 Netflix gave her for the series.) And paid another $24,000 in state fines. About $75,000 went toward legal fees.
In 2019, Sorokin told The New York Times “I’d be lying to you and to everyone else and to myself if I said I was sorry for anything.” But she did “regret the way I went about certain things.” In Oct. 2020, she had a change of heart, reportedly saying “I'm really ashamed and I'm really sorry for what I did.” And has said she “never had a fraudulent intent.”
Sorokin was released from prison on Feb. 11, 2021 for good behavior. She went back to posting her outings in New York on social media. But was taken into ICE custody about a month later for overstaying her visa.
More than a year later in March 2022, she was supposed to be deported to Germany, where she grew up. But hours before boarding a plane, Sorokin’s lawyer filed a request to let her stay in the US, citing “serious health issues.” She was released from ICE custody in early October, and is currently on house arrest in New York. But she still faces deportation. And her legal team is trying to stop that from happening.
What’s next for Anna Sorokin?
You might say she's reinventing herself. She's been focused on her budding art career. She’s joined pop-up art shows and the NFT world. And her art dealer says the work is worth a pretty penny. Around half a million dollars to be exact.
And we could be getting a new docuseries about Anna — while she was still in ICE custody, Sorokin signed a deal for a docuseries that covers her life after prison. But don’t grab the popcorn yet...we don’t have a release date yet.
“Inventing Anna” and Sorokin’s IRL drama has gotten everyone’s attention. But it’s also a reminder that there’s always more to a story that’s ‘based on true events.’ Because at the end of the day, real people were seriously impacted by her crimes. Same goes for the other scammers we see on-screen.
Updated January 9 to include all the latest information.
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