Opinion | Stop glamorizing Anna Delvey


Photo courtesy of Nicole Rivelli/Netflix/IMDB

Julia Garner stars in the new Netflix series “Inventing Anna” as Anna Sorokin in season one episode one “A Wolf in Chic Clothing.” Columnist Hamza Haq argues that Sorokin should not be praised for the actions she does throughout the show.

By Hamza Haq, Columnist

Surrounded by the glitz and glamor of New York, a German heiress found herself within high society after social climbing through boasting about her $60 million trust fund. Aiming to start her own ultra-exclusive version of Soho House — an application-based social club for the wealthy — she practically lived in hotels, constantly gave $100 tips and was always seen in the current season’s designer.

In reality, she was the daughter of a former truck driver from Russia with no real money to her name.

“Inventing Anna,” a new Netflix original that topped Netflix’s U.S. charts in the first three weeks of February, portrays the true story of the sudden rise and fall of socialite Anna Sorokin (who prefers her alias, Anna Delvey). In the show, Sorokin is portrayed conning wealthy friends and entrepreneurs for money and vacations.

However, Sorokin’s relentlessly spent money didn’t primarily come from other socialites. She forged documents claiming she had assets in Germany to be approved for loans at U.S. banks. After loan approvals, she would deposit checks from one bank account to another before her banks caught on. Sorokin was able to accumulate over $70,000 using this method before she was caught. She would also send fake confirmations for wire transfers to hotels and services she had no intention of ever paying.

But Sorokin’s goal was not just to live as lavishly as she could before her scheming luck ran out. She had a plan to start the Anna Delvey Foundation, a social club exclusive to New York’s ultra rich and primarily focused around art.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

Sorokin was close to making ADF a reality. She convinced a financial lawyer that she had her trust fund to rely on in case the foundation didn’t take off. She was steps away from being approved for a loan at Fortress Investment Group but withdrew from the deal when the company planned to send representatives to Switzerland to confirm her (imaginary) assets.

Although she was a con, Sorokin was continuously and overtly glamorized in her portrayal on “Inventing Anna.” She was depicted to be a genius mastermind who tricked America’s smartest and wealthiest, constantly coming up with new methods to sustain a high profile. But Sorokin was not an “eat the rich” figure either. Instead, she was a swindler who didn’t even have proper foresight into what she was doing.

“Inventing Anna” liked to portray Sorokin as someone who beat a flawed system, but in reality, she was a child who wasn’t able to handle the influx of money she was able to steal. If she was as smart as she was portrayed, she wouldn’t have blown her money on swanky vacations, hotels, outings and outfits.

Worst of all, she surrendered a $62,000 bill for a Morocco trip to a friend (who couldn’t afford it) to pay, when she promised to take her for free. Sorokin wasn’t only scamming big banks and wealthy socialites, but middle-class people who considered her a friend and trusted her.

Sorokin was not the hero “Inventing Anna” likens her to be. She was constantly on the run and one wrong move away from total disaster, and her poor decisions eventually caught up to her. Instead of glorifying her for “sticking up” to the wealthy, we should be asking why a show of her was made in the first place. Netflix paid Sorokin $320,000 for the rights to her life story, which helped her pay off her debts and legal fees.


Hamza is a freshman in LAS.

[email protected]