Anna Sorokin, the “fake heiress” who was convicted in 2019 for defrauding New York City’s elite of nearly $275,000, is speaking up about “Inventing Anna,” the upcoming Netflix series based on her story.
Ahead of the show’s Feb. 11 premiere, Sorokin, who is also known by the alias Anna Delvey, wrote an open letter published by Insider.com from an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement facility. In February 2021, she was released from prison on good behavior after serving a little under four years of her four to 12-year sentence. Six weeks later, she was arrested for overstaying her visa, a circumstance she claims was “unintentional and largely out of my control.”
“While the world is pondering Julia Garner’s take on my accent in ‘Inventing Anna,’ a Netflix show about me, the real me sits in a cell in Orange County’s jail in upstate New York, in quarantine isolation,” the letter begins.
On account of an immigration judge who ruled her likely to “continue to commit fraudulent and dishonest acts” if she were released, Sorokin won’t be watching the Shonda Rhimes show in the near future.
Still, “Even if I were to pull some strings and make it happen, nothing about seeing a fictionalized version of myself in this criminal-insane-asylum setting sounds appealing to me,” Sorokin said.
“For a long while, I was hoping that by the time ‘Inventing Anna’ came out, I would’ve moved on with my life. I imagined for the show to be a conclusion of sorts summing up and closing of a long chapter that had come to an end.”
She recalled how she felt watching her jailmates watch “The Sinfluencer of Soho,” ABC’s “20/20” episode about her case which aired last October.
“It’s hard to explain what I hate about it,” Sorokin reflected. “I just don’t want to be trapped with these people dissecting my character, even though no one ever says anything bad. If anything, everyone’s really encouraging, but in this cheap way and for all the wrong reasons.”
Presumably, that’s how she feels about “Inventing Anna,” which stars Garner as herself and Anna Chlumsky as Vivian, a fictionalized version of New York Magazine journalist Jessica Pressler. Just as the show depicts Vivian visiting Sorokin at Rikers Island, where she was held before her trial, Garner and Rhimes met with her while preparing to film.
“Nearly four years in the making and hours of phone conversations and visits later, the show is based on my story and told from a journalist’s perspective,” Sorokin writes. “And while I’m curious to see how they interpreted all the research and materials provided, I can’t help but feel like an afterthought, the somber irony of being confined to a cell at yet another horrid correctional facility lost between the lines, the history repeating itself.”
Elsewhere in the letter, Sorokin details her life in prison, including the time she was placed in “medical isolation” after contracting COVID-19. “Even though there’s nothing medical about it,” she quips. “One is simply being made to sit in a cell with a hole in the door.”
Toward the end of the letter, she shares “what you won’t see in the Netflix show”: her acquired habit of biting the skin around her nails to dull “an obsessive fixation on another wasted day that I’ll never get back.”
Sorokin remains in ICE’s custody for the foreseeable future, as she awaits deportation to Germany, where she holds citizenship.
“Is there anything else I could possibly have done to close this chapter?” she asks among a series of questions closing out the letter. “Will I forever be stuck in a past not entirely of my creation without getting a chance to move on?”