Stephen Sinclair is a Canadian freelance writer who has been publishing professionally for several years.
Was Anna Delvey Real?
Is Anna Delvey, Portrayed In The 2022 Series 'Inventing Anna,' A Real Person?
Though she has publicly admitted to ABC's 2020 that she "just came up with" the name Delvey, as archived with Archive.org, Anna Sorokin, the woman who called herself both Anna Delvey and Anna Sorokin-Delvey, is indeed a real person.
Insider had reported that the "faux socialite" was being held by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ABC News then reported that she had been deported to Germany. In fact, a stay had been granted, as featured with Forbes.
Anna took the name Delvey with her when her internship with Purple, a Paris fashion magazine, took the Russian native, whose parents were living in Germany, to New York City when she was 19 years old, as reported by the New York Times and archived by Archive.org.
Once in New York, Sorokin reportedly ditched the internship at Purple, intent on launching what the Times described as a "$40 million private club," which was named the Anna Delvey Foundation. At the time, Sorokin claimed that she had "secured the lease" for the historic Church Missions House, as reported by The Cut, though she did not, in fact, possess the millions of dollars she claimed she did, a precondition of the lease she touted.
It was this 60 million euros that Sorokin told people she was about to "inherit," as reported by 60 Minutes Australia, that the fraudulent "German heiress" held out as a metaphorical carrot before New York's elite, before justice would catch up with her and she would spend three years in prison.
Anna Sorokin Facts
- Is a real person
- Used fake names Anna Delvey, Anna Sorokin-Delvey
- Recently deported to Germany from the United States
- Served prison time for grand larceny at Rikers Island and Albion Correctional Facility
- Sold rights to life's story to Netflix for $320,000
- Using the state's "Son of Sam" law, the State of New York stopped Sorokin from keeping the Netflix money
Fraudulent 'German Heiress' 'Unrepetent'
'I Don't Care What You Think Of Me'
"I have no patience for people's stupidity," the 30 year old half laughed, half snorted as she spoke with 60 Minutes' Liam Bartlett.
"It was not only planned and executed by her, but it was done in a really brilliant way that you can't have just happen," psychologist and author Maria Konnikova explained with regard to Anna Sorokin's deceit. "You don't come up with a situation like that out of the blue. You have to craft it and you have to be very good."
The way that Sorokin "has managed to turn trickery into celebrity" is said to "intrigue" the psychologist.
When asked if she "flashed" a great deal of "cash" during her days in Manhattan, Sorokin replied that she never had more than "a couple of thousand dollars on her at most" and that "if someone is impressed by a hundred-dollar bill, then I don't know what to tell them."
In her analysis of Sorokin's New York City escapades, Konnikova stated that Sorokin's adept use of a murky ancestry, one that is "aristocratic in nature," is "one of the oldest cons there is."
Sorokin almost fooled U.S. financiers when she impersonated a European banker confirming that she held an account containing 60,000 euros and details of non-existent wire transfers.
Is Anna Delvey In Jail?
Is 'Inventing Anna' A True Story?
When faced with this, Sorokin persisted that the story was "true" and that she did, in fact, "have this project and this vision," and that it could have "worked out" if she did "have the money."
Confronted that this was the reason Sorokin faced jail time, she continued, "If I would have gotten the money from the bank."
Liam Bartlett continued, stating that the entire premise of the Anna Delvey Foundation was a "house of cards" and "another fake." Delvey finished by stating that many enterprises are "just a house of cards" and that "you just don't know about it."
In the early 2010s, with cash from $100,000 overdraft she duped a New York bank into allowing her access to, Anna Sorokin set up shop in a luxury hotel, 11 Howard, and lavished new friends and acquaintances with gifts of meals and extravagant spending, while barely ever leaving the premises.
One of those described as being lured into Sorokin's "web" was Vanity Fair writer Rachel DeLoache Williams, who took the claims of an inheritance, along with the gifts Sorokin gave her, at face value.
After Sorokin invited her on an "all-expenses-paid" vacation to Morocco, DeLoache Williams was stunned when the managers at her Moroccan villa demanded that she pay for the bill in full.
Confronting Sorokin, DeLoache Williams was told by the swindler that if she could just split the bill for the time being they would "settle" when they returned to the United States. However, when DeLoache Williams returned home and received her credit card statements she learned that she had been billed for the entire stay, over $62,000.
More than "a year's salary" for the writer, who went on to tell her story in a full-length, non-fiction book, "My Friend Anna: The True Story of a Fake Heiress."
In the wake of Netflix paying her $320,000 for her life story, as reported by the Wall Street Journal and archived with Archive.org, the New York State Attorney General invoked the 1977 "Son of Sam" law, forcing Sorokin to give up the funds, the first time the law has been used since "at least 2001."
March 15, 2022: This article has been updated to reflect Ms. Sorokin's reported deportation to Germany.
May 22, 2022: This article has been updated to reflect the stay of Ms. Sorokin's deportation.
New York City's Church Missions House
© 2022 Stephen Sinclair