‘Inventing Anna’ Traps Netflix With Defamation Lawsuit From Scammer’s Ex-Best Friend

Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin via Getty Images

Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin via Getty Images

In the immortal words of inventing anaAccomplished glamor hustler, “You know me. Everybody knows me. And if everyone knows the name Anna Delvey/Sorokin, then everyone knows the name of her former friend, Rachel Williams, much to the dismay of the real-life Williams, who on Monday filed a defamation lawsuit against Netflix for portraying her. .

Williams, former vanity fair A photo editor, she was drawn into Sorokin’s web of lies to the tune of $62,000 of her savings, as she painstakingly detailed in a 2018 essay about their friendship gone wrong. (His essay of hers fell a month before the New York magazine story that directly inspired inventing ana was published.) In his new lawsuit, filed in Delaware federal court and first noted by the hollywood reporter, Williams argued that Netflix made a conscious decision to distort her character.

“This action will show that Netflix made a deliberate decision for dramatic purposes to show Williams doing or saying things in the series that portray her as greedy, snobbish, disloyal, dishonest, cowardly, manipulative, and opportunistic,” the lawsuit says.

In a statement to The Daily Beast on Monday, (the real) Anna Sorokin simply said: “The truth hurts.”

According to Williams, her on-screen counterpart, played by Scandal student Katie Lowes is a treacherous witch who betrays Sorokin (Julia Garner) during a stay in Morocco, when the con man shows signs of being in dire financial straits. In reality, Williams insisted on her claim that she had ended the relationship after returning to New York and discovering that “Sorokin was a liar and a con man.”

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inventing ana led directly to “a torrent of online abuse, negative in-person interactions and pejorative characterizations on podcasts” for Williams, according to her lawsuit. In the aftermath of the hit series, Williams received “thousands” of hate mail, some of which called her “Karen”, “gold digger”, “crybaby” and “GREEDY CLOWN”.

As evidence of the company’s alleged intentions to defame her, Williams pointed to a March interview with show creator Shonda Rhimes, who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit. “We wanted to know what we were inventing; we didn’t want to make stuff up just because,” Rhimes explained, in what Williams called “an admission.”

“We wanted to intentionally create fictional moments rather than accidentally fictionalize them,” added Rhimes. (The show itself was opened by flaunting its deviation from the truth, with each episode of inventing ana beginning with the disclaimer: “This story is completely true. Except the parts that are totally invented”).

Williams’ attorney, Alexander Rufus-Isaacs, argued that the core issue of Netflix’s alleged libel was its choice to use its client’s real name and biographical details, something few characters in the series have. “The devastating damage to his reputation could have been avoided if only Netflix had used a fictitious name and different details,” Rufus-Isaacs said, according to the outlet. Reporter. “Why didn’t they do this for her, when they did it for so many other characters on the show? Perhaps the reason was that she had chosen to play for the other team, that is, HBO.

Following her 2018 essay, Williams signed a contract to write a book titled My Friend Anna: The True Story of a Fake Heiress. She sold the rights to both her article and the book to HBO and walked away with around $340,000 before taxes, according to Deadline. After inventing ana aired, HBO walked away from developing the project.

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Williams alleges in her lawsuit that Netflix tried to buy the rights to her story, but HBO beat them to it. His complaint raises the idea that Netflix was getting revenge for this by using his real name in their series.

On Monday night, Sorokin posted on his Instagram story that he would “gladly” be available to testify about the accuracy of Williams’ description. “You know where to find me,” wrote the fake heiress, who remains in federal custody while she awaits her deportation to Germany.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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