• Thu. Jun 30th, 2022

Which parts of Inventing Anna are fact or fiction?

ByRandall B. Phelps

Feb 13, 2022

Invent Anna is finally here and it gives us plenty of real criminal material to spill – but where exactly does reality end and fiction begin?

The new Netflix series – which stars ozark Actor Julia Garner as con artist Anna Delvey (real name Anna Sorokin) – is one of the streamer’s most anticipated releases to date.

Invent Anna tells the incredible true story of Sorokin, a socialite in her twenties who managed to pose as a wealthy German heiress as Anna Delvey in New York.

She managed to defraud friends and major banks out of hundreds of thousands of dollars before being convicted of fraud and robbery.

At her trial in 2019, Sorokin was found guilty of defrauding more than $200,000 (£147,000) from hotels, banks and other institutions. She defrauded other sums of money from associates and friends she met under false pretences.

Invent Anna explores the rise and fall of Sorokin through the perspective of Jessica Pressler, the journalist who wrote an explosive expose on Sorokin that went viral in 2018.

As every episode repeats, “This whole story is completely true. Except for the parts that are completely made up,” so we’ve rounded up some of the show’s greatest storylines and compared fact to fiction…

Viviane Kent


My daughter Star Anna Chlumsky plays Vivian Kent, a reporter struggling to tell the story of Sorokin (Julia Garner).

Vivian’s character is a stand-in for real-life journalist Jessica Pressler who wrote the expose for New York magazineit is The cup (renamed Manhattan magazine in Invent Anna). Like Vivian, Pressler interviewed Sorokin as she awaited trial in prison at Rikers Island. She also spoke with many of Sorokin’s peers to find out the real story behind the fake heiress.

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As the series shows, Pressler was pregnant for much of the writing of the story and wrote the expose in part because she wanted to make amends after an earlier mistake threatened to end her career. . In 2014, Bloomberg News rescinded a job offer to Pressler after an article she wrote turned out to be a hoax. It is referenced throughout the series.

Anna’s relationship with Chase


Much screen time is given to Anna’s turbulent relationship with her boyfriend Chase Sikorski (Saamer Usmani). Like Anna, Chase is a hustler. He’s a tech brother looking to find seed money for his app called Wake – which is loosely described as an app used to capture dream data. The full concept, however, is never fully explained. He is also portrayed as Anna’s cash cow in the series, being part of the explanation of how she was able to fund his lavish lifestyle.

While Chase plays a huge role in Anna’s life, there is only a brief mention of such a boyfriend in the New York magazine item. Pressler speaks of a “boyfriend [Sorokin] was running with it for a while”. The journalist calls him “a futurist of the TED-Talks circuit that had been profiled in the new yorker”. Likewise in Invent Annawhen Vivian finally manages to get her hands on Chase, he only agrees to talk to her if she refers to him in the article as “the futurist”.

Pressler writes that for about two years, Sorokin and “the futurist” had operated as “a team, showing up in places frequented by the homeless wealthy”. Invent Anna seems to have picked up on that detail, framing Anna and Chase as a dynamic duo navigating their way up the ladder alongside the right people. Invent Anna sees Chase’s application fail and the character ends up moving to the United Arab Emirates to work for a sheikh; this scenario is also reflected in the real-life article.

The Anna Delvey Foundation


Anna de Garner puts all her energy into founding the Anna Delvey Foundation, an ultra-exclusive artistic club in New York. On the show, Anna has a place in mind: the historic Church Missions House. It was also true in reality. Sorokin wanted to found ADF (although she feared the name was “too narcissistic”) at Church Missions House, a historic six-story building run by real estate magnate Aby Rosen at the corner of Park Avenue and the 22nd.

In the series, when she shows her team on the project around the property, Anna talks about wanting to have a rotating array of pop-up shops as well as exhibitions and installations by renowned artists, including Urs Fischer and Tracey Emin. She also tells them that artist Christo has agreed to wrap the building. All the above are real details taken from the New York magazine room.

fly a jet


In episode four, Anna is invited to attend Warren Buffet’s annual investment conference in Omaha. Wanting to arrive in style, she texts the CEO of a private jet company called Blade whom she briefly met at a party. She asks him to arrange a plane for her and her friends. He responds vaguely by asking his team “to assist Ms. Delvey”. She takes the plane even though she hasn’t put any money aside.

In real life, Sorokin witnessed the Omaha investment and according to the New York magazine article, she managed to ‘convince’ a company called Blade to charter her a $35,000 (£25,750) jet to Omaha, noting that she met Blade’s CEO while passing through a house in Soho. Although not shown in the series, Pressler’s article notes that Sorokin sent the company a fake confirmation for a wire transfer from Deutsche Bank that never arrived.

Alain Reed


Episode three focuses on Anna’s relationship with Alan Reed, a hugely successful financial lawyer whom she persuades to help her secure loans for ADF. In the series, they are depicted as having a close relationship. Reed is seen as extremely supportive of Anna and her dreams of building ADF.

In real life, Sorokin worked with Andy Lance, a partner at big business Gibson Dunn. Sorokin told Pressler that unlike other attorneys, Lance would “explain the right amount to me, without being condescending.” She also described their working relationship as close, adding that he was “there [for her] all the time”, even when he was on vacation. Just as in the series, Alan ticks boxes confirming that Anna has the resources to pay without ever confirming the existence of such resources, Lance did the same in real life. Lance did not respond to Pressler’s request for comment at the time.

Pierre Henneke


In the series, Anna tells Alan to contact the head of his family office in Germany, Peter Hennecke, to confirm his trust fund details. It is later revealed that Hennecke does not exist and that Alan’s phone calls with Hennecke were, in fact, with Anna herself. Invent Anna reveals that Anna was using a cell phone with a European SIM card to simulate the calls; she had also purchased voice disguise software to make her voice sound like a German.

In real life, Sorokin gave Alan the details of a certain Peter Hennecke. When emails to Hennecke from people Anna owed money started bouncing, Sorokin informed them that Hennecke had died. Pressler, however, notes that he “appears to have been a fictional character”, with the cell phone number that belonged to Hennecke tracing back to a now missing burner phone.

Holiday from hell in Morocco


Episode six is ​​a season highlight, telling the story of Anna’s ill-fated vacation in Marrakech with her personal trainer, a videographer, and the vanity lounge Rachel journalist.

This episode draws much of its material not only from the New York magazine article, but also a first-person feature film written by Williams for vanity lounge – where she had worked as a photojournalist – in April 2018. After befriending her at a party in 2016, Sorokin invited Williams for a luxurious vacation in Marrakech where they – and the trainer and photographer from Sorokin – stayed at the five-star luxury resort La Mamounia.

Williams was forced to foot the bill for the entire vacation when Sorokin said she was having trouble with her bank – but assured Williams she would be fully reimbursed. The reporter put the plane tickets on her American Express card; Sorokin also asked her to pay for some designer kaftans and an extravagant dinner at the prestigious La Sultana restaurant. When Sorokin’s card was declined for the huge hotel sum, Williams was pressured to register his credit card. The hotel assured him that there would be no charge and that they only needed a registered working card. Later, however, when Sorokin was unable to materialize his own working credit card, the hotel ended up charging Williams the sum of $62,000. She only ever received $5,000 from Sorokin.

As the series shows, the real-life coach fell ill and returned from Marrakech before the others. However, when money problems began to arise during the trip, Sorokin called the coach and asked him to book a return flight for her. According to the trainer (who remains anonymous in the vanity lounge article), Sorokin asked her to book a first-class ticket. This is reflected in the series, although it is slightly fictionalized with Anna telling Kacey (played by Laverne Cox) that she was assaulted in an effort to explain why she needs her to book her return flight. There was no mention of an assault in either article.

Inventing Anna is available to stream on Netflix