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Inventing Anna: 7 Things The Show Changed From The Real Story

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Many of the outrageous events in Shonda Rhimes’ limited series Inventing Anna are inspired by the real Anna Delvey/Sorokin. Nonetheless, as the Netflix series readily notes at the outset of each episode, the content includes a significant amount of fiction in addition to the realities of Anna’s experience.

Everything Anna Delvey Has To Say About ‘Inventing Anna’

As Anna (Julia Garner) infiltrates the upper echelons of New York society and attempts to establish her own exclusive social club for artists (The Anna Delvey Foundation, or ADF), she makes some very daring moves. While most of the plot is factual, other events are exaggerated or invented—and some aren’t even as bizarre as the truth.

A Timeline of What Has Happened Since ‘Inventing Anna’

February 20, 2021

The series’ final credits revealed that Anna Delvey was freed from prison in February 2021, only to be apprehended a month later by Immigration and Customs Enforcement for overstaying her visa. Her legal counsel is still advocating for her release, and she has maintained that her support system is in New York, despite efforts to deport her to Germany.

In February, various outlets reported that Netflix paid Sorokin $320,000 for her Inventing Anna tale. She spent the money on the following items:

  • $199,999 in reparations
  • State fines totaling $24,000
  • Attorney costs of $75,000

May 2022

Anna has also continued to pursue her artistic endeavors while jailed. In May 2022, an exhibition of her drawings from ICE detention, titled “Allegedly,” will open at the Public Hotel on New York’s Lower East Side. It included twenty sketches that appeared to depict Anna’s experiences prior to, during, and after her trial. The event was well-attended, and while some reviews were negative, sales were profitable.

Vivian Kent’s Behavior Is Making News

Vivian Kent (Anna Chlumsky), the reporter who wrote the controversial feature on Anna Delvey, and Manhattan Magazine are both made up. Kent, on the other hand, is based on New York Magazine writer Jessica Pressler, with a few key deviations.

To protect the wealthy, some names have been changed

While certain names and locations in the series are true (Anna and her friends and lawyers, as well as a handful of the hotels she stiffed), others were modified or made up. Some characters, such as Anna’s mentor Nora Radford (Kate Burton) and financial attorney Alan Reed (Anthony Edwards), are very certainly based on real individuals or a combination of real people.

Little is known about the boyfriend

Anna’s connection with Chase Sikorski (Saamer Usmani), the creator of the Wake dream-mining program, is key to the series’ early episodes. He is a work of fiction, but hypotheses regarding his inspiration have circulated. Though his identity isn’t included in Pressler’s article, the show assumes that he consented to share his side of the tale in exchange for his anonymity.

Rikers Island interviews Aren’t They Cushy?

Even Anna Delvey has to slum it when she’s in jail, it turns out. While the show depicts Anna pressuring Vivian into arranging formal media trips so they might receive “VIP” treatment, Anna admits in actual life that “there was definitely no tea at Rikers!” There was instead a cash-only coffee machine and no porcelain cup in sight.

While iconic, that accent is flawed

To say the least, Anna’s accent in the series is distinctive. Many people who have heard the real Anna speak say her voice doesn’t quite match hers. While it is not the worst phony accent, it is a little perplexing.

There Was No Faux German. There were two imposters

At least one series detail was less crazy than in real life. Anna invents a German accountant, Peter Hennecke, who apparently represents her trust in Inventing Anna. In the series, she utilizes a voice-changing app and false email addresses to trick Alan Reed and other financial parties into thinking they’re speaking with Hennecke when they’re actually speaking with Anna.

Some of Anna’s exploits were fabricated or exaggerated

Many of the series’ odd occurrences are true, although a few narratives have been exaggerated or altogether created. Anna has no recollection of overstaying her welcome on a friend’s yacht or spending $400k on someone else’s credit card at Bergdorf Goodman.


Netflix’s “Inventing Anna” has gotten much attention for its depiction of the life and crimes of Anna Sorokin, a young Russian who posed as a rich socialite. Despite being based on real events, the show took a few creative liberties and changed the story.

The mini-series took several major departures from the real story, from changing the character’s name to changing the timeline. There were also new characters and subplots introduced in the show.

Overall, the series provided an intriguing glimpse into the life of Anna Sorokin. The writers took some creative liberties, but the show effectively captured the essence of the real story and kept audiences hooked.

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