‘Inventing Anna’: real-life subject criticises “shocking” Netflix series


Rachel DeLoache Williams has criticised the portrayal of her character in Netflix series Inventing Anna.

The series, which was released last Friday (February 11), chronicles the rise and fall of scammer Anna Delvey (aka Anna Sorokin) who is played by Ozark star Julia Garner.

Williams who is a journalist played by Katie Lowes, makes an appearance in episode six of the series, as the show goes on to document a disastrous holiday that the real-life Williams went on with Sorokin in 2017.

The journalist wrote in detail about her trip to Marrakesh in a 2018 article for Vanity Fair titled ‘My Bright-Lights Misadventure With A Magician Of Manhattan‘ and in a 2019 book titled My Friend Anna.

She has since responded to her portrayal in the series in an article for Time Magazine in which she clarified that she “was not involved with the show”.

Williams explained that she “expected there would be times when the dramatisation of my experience would make me uncomfortable” and added she “understood that stepping into the spotlight came with certain risks”.

“I would only have so much control over how I was portrayed,” she wrote but added that “this Netflix description felt shocking”.

She went on to quote one section of her character’s description which states that “the woman she becomes because of Anna” and said that these “seven little words in one fell swoop stripped me of my agency, accomplishments, and truth”.

Williams added: “Were we meant to believe that the woman I had become was not on account of the parents who raised me, the love I shared with family and friends, my own efforts or personal growth, but because of Anna?”

As reflected in Inventing Anna, the journalist was pressured into footing the bill for the lavish holiday when Sorokin said she was experiencing trouble with her bank. She assured Williams that she would be fully reimbursed.

Williams charged approximately $62,000 (£45,688) to her accounts in relation to the Morocco trip under the false pretence that she would receive the money back. She only ever received $5,000 (£3,685) reimbursement from Sorokin.

In a review, NME awarded Inventing Anna two stars and said: “They say brevity is the soul of wit – and Netflix’s trashy drama hasn’t much of either.”





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