Netflix Roasted In ‘Inventing Anna’ Suit For Inventing Double-Crossover Traits For A Real Person; Plaintiff Rachel Williams previously sold the rights to Life Story to HBO

It is not the first time that Netflix has faced legal action for adding fictional features to a real person in one of its dramas. In this case of defamation and false light invasion of privacy, the drama in question is inventing anaand the real person is ex-vanity fair photo editor Rachel Williams, portrayed in the Emmy-nominated miniseries produced by Katie Lowes’s Shonda Rhimes.

“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,” reads a complaint. . here) filed Monday in Delaware federal court.

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“The Defamatory Statements are defamatory because they tend to expose her to public scorn, ridicule, aversion or disgrace, or to induce a poor opinion of her, and are defamatory per se because her importance is evident from the face of the Series without recourse. . to any other source,” adds the document from the firm Rufus-Isaacs Acland & Grantham LLP of Beverly Hills and Farnan LLP of Wilmington.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and a jury trial, as well as an injunction to have allegedly defamatory material involving Williams removed. inventing ana, which premiered on Netflix on February 11. Alongside Julia Garner as bogus heiress and convicted con artist Anna “Delvey” Sorokin, Lowes’ Williams is the only real-life, accurately named significant other in the Rhimes-created hit. That mention of names is a real sore point for the plaintiff, who previously sold the rights to her own part in the high-society scam to HBO.

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“The extent of the harm to Williams caused by Netflix’s defamation has been extraordinary by any plausible measure,” states today’s 59-page complaint. “The series has been viewed by millions of people around the world and, as a result of Netflix’s misrepresentation of her as a despicable person, she has been subjected to a torrent of online abuse that has caused her personal humiliation, anguish and distress. , as well as damage to your earnings and/or potential earnings.”

Surprisingly, Rhimes and his Shondaland banner are not the defendants in the lawsuit. The sole defendant in the matter, Netflix, did not respond Monday to a request for comment. To the contrary, Williams’ attorney had more to add to the presentation.

“The reason we had to file this lawsuit is because Netflix used Rachel’s real name and biographical details, and made her seem like a horrible person, which she is not,” attorney Alexander Rufus-Isaacs said in a statement to Deadline after placing the lawsuit on the court docket. “The devastating damage to her reputation could have been avoided if only Netflix had used a different fictitious name and details. Why didn’t they do this for her, when they did it for so many other characters in the series? Perhaps the reason was that she had chosen to play for the other team, that is, HBO.

Inspired by Jessica Pressler new york magazine article “How an aspiring ‘It’ Girl fooled New York’s party people and their banks” from 2018, nine episodes of Shondland and Netflix inventing ana paid $320,000 to Sorkin herself, then incarcerated and now deported, to obtain the rights to her life story.

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Having written about her experiences with the scammer, Williams saw nothing of the streamer and Rhimes. However, in a deal signed with HBO, now owned by Warner Bros Discovery, for her, the 2019 book My Friend Anna: The True Story of a Fake Heiress and other works, Williams pocketed around $340,000 before taxes.

Now that it seems that the premium cabler has been left with leftovers after the worldwide success of inventing anathis Williams lawsuit could be a case of retribution in the installment plan.

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