Everything you need to know about Anna Delvey before you watch Inventing Anna on Netflix

The insane true story that Netflix bought for $320k

Inventing Anna follows the true story of Anna Sorokin, who was imprisoned in 2019 on multiple accounts, including second-degree larceny (theft of personal property). She’s better known as Anna Delvey, the fake name she used between 2013 and 2017, while she pretended to be a German heiress and scammed hundreds of thousands of dollars out of businesses and wealthy individuals.

In 2018, Netflix bought the New York article “How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People” by Jessica Pressler, and began work to make it into a TV show. Here’s everything you need to know about Anna Delvey before you watch the show:

Anna was born in a small town in Russia and struggled to fit in while moving from Russia to Germany as a teenager. It was when she travelled to New York to cover Fashion Week for the magazine she was working for in Paris that she finally found a society she fitted in to.

This was when Anna started to forge her fake life; she moved to New York and pretended to be an heiress, fooling many members of the city’s elite. In 2015 she took a trip to Venice with Michael Xufu Huang and “forgot” to pay him back for the travel and hotel.

In 2016, Michael suspected that she may be a con artist after the restaurant Anna had booked for her birthday party contacted him to ask if he had her details. It turned out she’d booked with a fake credit card and fake contact details.

Anna created fake bank statements claiming that she had access to 60 million euros in a Swiss bank account.

She then spent the $55,000 that she borrowed from a bank on luxurious clothes and hotel stays and became known for tipping hotel staff with hundred-dollar bills and bottles of champagne.

In 2017 she invited three friends on an all-expenses trip to Marrakesh, and when the hotel approached her to let her know that her payment had been from a fake card, she convinced one of her friends to cover the bill.

After returning to New York and being evicted from various hotels for not being able to pay the bills, both the Beekman and the W hotels pressed charges against her for theft of services. She was also being investigated separately for bank fraud, and was arrested in 2017 during a stay at Passages Malibu, an addiction treatment facility.

Anna’s trial was equally wild. She refused to appear in front of court because her clothing hadn’t been pressed. She was released from prison in 2021 and immediately taken back into custody by ICE for overstaying her visa. She sold her life story to Netflix for $320,000 and used the money to repay various people she had scammed.

Since then, everyone’s been obsessed with Anna. Rachel Williams, one of Anna’s friends who went with her to Marrakesh, published a book called My Friend Anna, which HBO is reportedly working on a remake of.

Julia Garner has been cast as Anna in Netflix’s Inventing Anna, and visited her in prison in order to prepare for the part. It’s available to watch on Netflix now.

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