‘Inventing Anna’ Rachel Williams suing Netflix for defamation

Anna Sorkin, aka Anna Delvey, became a household name when she was found guilty of conning New York elites in 2016/17, which Netflix brought to life in the series, Inventing Anna.

Now, one of the ‘elites,’ Rachel DeLoache Williams is suing Netflix with a defamation lawsuit, because she doesn’t like how she was portrayed in the Netflix series. However, this isn’t the first time Williams has hit back at the series. Back in 2018, she wrote a popular essay about her experience for Vanity Fair. Then in 2019, she has a book published under the title, My Friend Anna

When the pair met, Rachel Williams was a 28-year-old editor for Vanity Fair and Sorokin was portraying herself as 25-year-old German heiress named Anna Delvey, who had a trust fund. If Anna was Pinocchio this would have been the point where her nose grew.

inventing anna
Credit: Daily Mail

Delvey was found guilty of four counts of theft of services, three counts of grand larceny, and one count of attempted grand larceny in 2019. Delvey was released on good behavior, on February 11, 2021, after serving nearly four years. But less than six months after her release, she was detained by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and is currently in custody in upstate New York, where she is fighting deportation to Germany.

Williams is claiming that Netflix “made a deliberate decision for dramatic purposes to show Williams doing or saying things in the series which portray her as a greedy, snobbish, disloyal, dishonest, cowardly, manipulative and opportunistic person.” 

Williams wrote about their 2017 trip to Morocco in her essay, claiming Sorokin left her with a $62,000 bill, which Delvey was later acquitted for. Williams claims many media outlets have “commented on Netflix’s hatchet job,” attaching to the suit several articles which state as such.

The suit claims, “As a result of Netflix’s false portrayal of her as a vile and contemptible person, Williams was subjected to a torrent of online abuse, negative in-person interactions, and pejorative characterizations in podcasts, etc. that was based on the Series, which establish that Netflix’s actions exposed her to public contempt, ridicule, aversion or disgrace, or induced an evil opinion of her.” 

The suit also states that Netflix could have saved themselves a world of trouble if only they had given Williams the courtesy of using a fictitious name. Now, Rachel Williams is demanding a jury trial, to compensate her with punitive damages, the cost of the suit, additional monies if the Court deems just and proper, and the removal of the allegedly defamatory statements from the Netflix series.