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What’s real and what’s fake in Inventing Anna?

17/02/2022

There is something extremely captivating about true scammer stories. Inventing Anna is the latest Netflix dramatised real-life story to have us all hooked on how a young woman in her early twenties managed to swindle New York elite circles and American banks out of  $275,000 with the intent to borrow $22 million for her dreamworld members club, all this by making them all think she was a rich German heiress with a $60 million trust fund to her name.

Sounds a bit surreal right? Well some of us first became familiar with this story when a journalist for the New York Magazine Jessica Pressler did a big feature on the real Anna Delvey story. While some of us heard of her through the best selling book by a Vanity Fair photo editor Rachel Williams — and former friend of Anna’s, titled: My Friend Anna: The true story of the fake heiress of New York City.

On the Netflix show, we see the story through the lens of Jessica Pressler’s who was a journalist fighting to gain back her reputation and journalistic integrity, after accusations of bad reporting, all while worrying about finishing the story before her unborn baby is due.

If you have now binged the whole series, you will be thinking, no way did that happen. No way did she manage to go on an unpaid private jet trip without permission, stay in lavish hotels without paying, fake statements to secure multi-million dollar loans, or even cheat her friends into buying her first-class flights when her cheques bounce.

Inventing Anna is a dramatisation of the real Anna Delvey “born Anna Sorokin” story. So we don’t blame you for now digging the internet to find how much of this Anna Delvey Netflix Series is real and how much of it it’s fake. At the beginning of every episode you would be able to see a note in clever graphics saying: “This story is completely true. Except for all the parts that aren’t.”

So here are 13 things you’ve probably been wondering if they’re real or fake?

Did Anna actually manage to “borrow” a private jet to attend a conference?

Yes. Anna did indeed take a private jet to fly to Warren Buffett’s conference/soirée in Omaha, Nebraska without paying the $35,390 fee up front, by forging a wire transfer confirmation slip

Did she actually overstay her welcome at an acquaintance’s yacht?

Sadly we don’t have much evidence that this part of the story is true. There is no record of her lingering on a friend-of-a-friend’s yacht for days after everyone else left and that may have been part of what the writers dramatised for the show. When asked about this at an interview with Insider, Sorokin said that the plotlines about her overstaying her welcome on a yacht “doesn’t ring a bell.”.

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 09: (L-R) Giudo Cacciatori, Gro Curtis, Giorgia Tordini, and Anna Delvey attend the first Tumblr Fashion Honor presented to Rodarte at The Jane Hotel on September 9, 2014 in New York, United States. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)DAVE KOTINSKY

Did Anna actually use a voice distortion app to act as the manager of the Delvey family estate, Peter W. Hennecke?

Pressler has said that Peter W. Hennecke. “seems to have been a fictional character”. On the series we are able to see how Sorokin faked his voice on phone conversations with the banks, by using a voice distortion app, which made her sound like an older German man. The girl thought of everything!

Did Anna actually swindle her friend from Vanity Fair out of $62,000 using her company card?

This is very true. So much so that Rachel Williams wrote all about it in her first book and tell-all: My friend Anna. The duo plus two other friends took an outlandish trip to Marrakesh, inspired by the Kardashians, staying in one of the most expensive resorts in the world, which left one of Sorokin’s friends, Rachel Williams, in debt to the tune of $62,000, some of which got credited straight out from her Conde Nast company card.

Did she actually ask her friend to pay for her Marrakech flight back but only 1st class?

She did! After that chaotic trip to Marrakesh, that left her friend with a bill of 62k, Anna felt stuck and didn’t know who would fund her trip back home. So, she did indeed call a friend in tears to help her secure that airfare home, and then processed to request a first-class ticket. One thing Sorokin was not going to do is drift off character. Anna Delvey would clearly ‘NEVAH’ flight economy. Although her friend didn’t bite the bullet, at least she tried.

Anna Sorokin better known as Anna Delvey, the 28-year-old German national, whose family moved there in 2007 from Russia, is seen in the courtroom during her trial at New York State Supreme Court in New York on April 11, 2019. – The self-styled German heiress has been charged with grand larceny and theft of services charges alleging she swindled various people and businesses. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)TIMOTHY A. CLARY

Was Vivian Kent’s character “inspired by journalist Jessica Pressler” actually pregnant?

A big part of the storyline of the series follows Vivian Kent, working at the magazine ‘Manhattan’ who was inspired by journalist Jessica Pressler at ‘New York Magazine’, as she works towards two huge deadlines, the Anna Delvey story, and her baby’s due date.

Pressler has revealed that she was in fact pregnant while working on Sorokin’s story, via the Recode Media Podcast in June 2018. Although we can’t confirm her baby’s due date, social media does suggested that she gave birth weeks, possibly months after her finished article. So that water-breaking in the office scene — yeh not so much, but we love a bit of drama.

Was Vivian Kent’s character job actually in trouble?

To a certain degree yes. Jessica Pressler portrayed as Vivian Kent did write an article in late 2014 about a high school student rumored to have made millions in the stock market. The student had given Pressler what she thought was sufficient evidence to prove his eight-figure net worth, however, after the story went to press, his family revealed that it was all fake and New York Magazine accepted full responsibility for printing the lie. Pressler did have an offer from Bloomberg on the table at the time, but it was retracted due to this incident.

However, Pressler then went on to publish a story about a group of grifting strippers, which became wildly popular, and then the film rights to the article were quickly snapped up creating the feature film Hustlers which starred Jennifer Lopez back 2019.

Did Anna actually overdose in LA?

We’re unsure if this actually happened, although the series suggest that she faked it, as we see her take too many pills and wash them down with wine, while Instagramming the entire thing and ordering bottle service to her room, leaving the door open, waiting to be found. This all suggesting that she was bluffing her way through a psych evaluation, to get herself checked into rehab, and grant her more time in America as her visa was about to expire. All very calculative but Pressler’s article doesn’t say much about an attempt, all we know is that she was arrested in LA outside a rehab facility.

Was Anna Delvey’s court looks Instagram page an actual thing?

On the show, we see Anna requesting an expensive celebrity stylist Anatastia Walker, who had amongst her clients’ celebrities such as T-Pain and Courtney Love, to dress her for every single court appearance. At one point she even recused to attend court because she didn’t have the right outfit. Her friend Neff facilitates that and then creates an Instagram account featuring all her looks. This Instagram account does in fact exist dating back to March 2019, although we can’t confirm the creator and the use handle is slightly different.

Did the infamous Fyre festival founder Billy McFarland actually know Anna Delvey?

On the 4th episode we see Anna staying at a party pad, doubling up as Magnises owned by Billy McFarland (whom you may recognise from Fyre Festival) who scammed a myriad investors out of about $26 million. The irony of two now-infamous scammers having a relationship before their worlds crumbled, but yes, it did happen! Sorokin actually turned what was meant to be a few days stay (as a favour) to four months! Sources say he did hint her to leave, but eventually, the company moved to another location. We cannot confirm if the move was intentional.

Did she really know Martin Skreli and did he really play the unreleased Lil Wayne album at one of their parties?

And yes, she really did know Martin Shkreli. Seems like there must have been a strong infamous scene in the upper east side of New York City’s elite circles and he did indeed play the unreleased Lil Wayne album “Tha Carter V,” he notoriously bought the masters for. Pressler reached out Shkreli and he confirmed it in a letter he sent from prison. Rachel Williams also wrote in her book that Sorokin talked about and often defended his controversial take on price-hiking lifesaving drugs. Scammers really do have each other’s backs.

Did her friend actually create a sting to get her arrested?

Rachel Williams was left with a tab of $62,000 from that infamous trip to Marrakesh. After many attempts to try and recoup the money from Anna, whether is calling her, showing up at her hotels, or contacting the police multiple times, she was left with so choice but to co-operate with them as an informant and help them set up a sting to catch Anna outside the LA rehab center she was staying at. This was all true. Williams writes in her book that when Sorokin failed to show up in court, the assistant district attorney asked if Williams would text Sorokin and it all played out similarly to how it did on the show.

Was she actually that ill-mannered in real life?

Reports and former friends say yes. The original article by Pressler reads that Sorokin would often peel off $100 notes one after the other, in order to attempt to take the hotel’s concierge attention away from other guests, so she wouldn’t have to queue to be attended to. Clearly, she was well and truly living the life she intended to. Her insolence is reported to have kept many around her captivated and it feels almost on brand for someone that rich to just be so out of touch with reality, so in many ways, the character Anna Delvey played by Anna Sorokin herself was ill-mannered and brash and people around her clearly couldn’t get enough of it.

Wow, we are hooked!

 

From Glamour UK

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