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Anna Delvey Says Fame Was Never Her Goal

The year was 2018. Celebrity weddings were on another level between Harry and Meghan, Hailey and Justin, and Nick and Priyanka. For a few minutes there, we thought Hawaii might literally be wiped off the map. But of all the unexpected things that happened that year, one of the most memorable was the story of Anna Delvey – the con artist who wreaked havoc on the Manhattan socialite scene throughout the mid-2010s. Anna Sorokin – using the pseudonym Anna Delvey – collectively defrauded friends, banks, and businesses of around $275k by pretending to be a German heiress with a trust fund. After serving prison time at Rikers Island, she’s now the subject of a new Netflix series, Inventing Anna, the trailer of which dropped just shy of the show’s February 2022 release. More recently, she’s spoken about life in prison and the new series in an open letter through Insider and is now making her rounds on podcasts like “Call Her Daddy.”

When the New York Magazine exposé about her was published in 2018, it led to a worldwide fascination with her story. Everybody followed along as she went to trial decked out in designer clothes thanks to the celebrity stylist she hired for court, but after she was sentenced for her crimes, what happened to her? In light of the show’s release, read up on where Anna Delvey is today.

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Nicole Rivelli/Netflix © 2021

Anna Sorokin, aka Delvey, was sentenced to up to 12 years in prison but was released before her minimum four years.

Sorokin was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison for several counts, including grand larceny and theft, but she spent just under four years behind bars before being released on parole in February of 2021 for good behavior. In her first post-prison interview with Insider, she said the whole experience was pointless. “They just wasted everyone’s time and money,” she said. “I have to deal with the consequences of my actions, yeah. But to just sit around and just think about everything I’ve done — it’s not going to have changed it…I did what I did…I’m just trying to fix things and move on.”

Her time trying to move on was brief. On March 25, 2021, it was reported that she turned herself into and was detained by ICE, where she remains in custody. In her letter published by Insider, she alludes that she didn’t turn herself in, but was rather seeking help in renewing her visa.

She failed to show up for her deportation flight to Germany. 

As reported by the New York Times, the fake heiress was born in Russia in 1991, and moved to Germany in 2007. She later moved to Paris, where she began the ruse of Anna Delvey, the German heiress. In 2014, she took the con to New York.  

Earlier this year her immigration status was up in the air after overstaying her visa. She submitted an application for asylum, but according to Insider, a judge required her to remain in custody until a decision was made. According to Insider, she resided in isolation in Orange County’s jail in upstate New York. It was unclear why she was being held in custody rather than released with a tracker, as violent offenders have been free to go with ankle bracelets while awaiting a final status decision in the past, Sorokin’s attorney, Audrey A. Thomas, told Insider. Sorokin completed her sentence for non-violent crimes, paid back her victims, and hadn’t missed a court hearing. 

“Admittedly, I, the ultimate unreliable narrator, have made some questionable choices that I wouldn’t necessarily repeat today,” Sorokin wrote for Insider. “Do these decisions inevitably make me a permanent threat to public safety? The government says yes. But in comparison with whom? Everything’s relative.”

According to Vulture, Sorokin was supposed to be deported on March 14, 2022, but she refused to leave the detention center and remains in custody after filing a motion to stay the deportation.

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Sorokin plans to appeal her convictions. 

Sorokin told Insider that she’s appealing her convictions but declined to disclose further information. Her attorney said that she believed the money Sorokin owed should have fallen under civil, not criminal, jurisdiction. She owed the money, they both agree, but they claim it wasn’t stolen. 

Sorokin also reportedly thought that all of the loans she secured under false pretenses would lead to her ability to launch the Anna Delvey Foundation, a members’ only club that would allow her to pay back everything she’d come to owe in the process. “I never really went, ‘Oh, let me go and defraud City National Bank, that will be the best thing to do ever,’” Sorokin told Insider. “Who thinks like this? …I just had this vision. And it didn’t work out.” 

That vision included renting out 45,000 square feet across six floors in a landmarked building near Grammercy Park, which today is occupied by Fotografiska, a Swedish photography museum. 

Netflix came knocking with Inventing Anna

Inventing Anna, a Netflix series based on Jessica Pressler’s New York Magazine article, premiered on February 11 and documented the faux millionaire’s rise and downfall. The new special is the first in Shonda Rhimes’ lineup since sealing an expanded deal with the streaming service after the success of Bridgerton.

Sorokin earned $320k from Netflix for the rights to her life story, as reported in an exclusive revelation from Insider, which she put towards court fees, fines, and restitution to pay back the money she owes. “While I was in prison, I paid off the restitution from my criminal case in full to the banks I took money from,” she later wrote for Insider.  

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Julia Garner, who plays Sorokin in the Netflix series, met Sorokin in preparation for the role. She told W that she’d read and reread New York’s story and watched hours of footage her prior to meeting her in prison. “I’d already spent a lot of time looking at things like how she moves her eyes and how she talks, how her accent changes based on who she’s with,” Garner said. The actress was surprised to find she could relate to Sorokin, too. “In your 20s, you’re finding yourself, your identity, and your purpose in life. Anna was going about it the wrong way, obviously, but that search is something I recognize,” she said.

Sorokin hoped that the release of the show would indicate a wrap on that part of her life. According to her Insider letter, she spent four years on phone calls and visiting with creative team members, thinking she’d have moved on before its release. “While I’m curious to see how they interpreted all the research and materials provided, I can’t help but feel like an afterthought,” she wrote.

Sorokin was also featured in HBO Max’s miniseries Generation Hustle, which “recounts some of the most wildly inventive scams of the past decade,” according to ET, while Lena Dunham is reportedly working on an HBO project that will adapt Rachel Deloache Williams’s memoir My Friend Anna: The True Story Of The Fake Heiress Of New York City.

Now that Her Sentence is Over, she plans to focus on criminal reformation.

Sorokin also said that she felt like her time – as well as everyone else’s – was wasted in jail. She said she believes that issuing the same punishment no matter what crime you commit won’t do anything to help criminals set themselves up for success after prison and that she doesn’t believe prison is a deterrent against committing future crimes. 

She suggested to Insider that young women getting addicted to drugs is a big problem in prison. “…I see so many girls, they’re like 18, 19, they come to prison and they just don’t know what’s going on. They don’t have any family support… and they just start doing drugs in there,” she said. “I never saw as many drugs in New York as I did in prison.” 

She claims many of the guards acted inappropriately, as well. With that experience in mind, she hopes to take all of the attention on her and turn it into something positive through prison reform. “To take people, to lock them up, take everything away from them, and just to expect them to reform. What is that supposed to do for you?” she told Insider. “The same solution for everyone, no matter what you’ve done? When you’re a criminal, it’s such a different mindset, whether you kill someone or if you sell drugs. The place where you’re coming from is not comparable. They have this universal solution for everyone, and that should not be the case.”

From her ICE incarceration, Sorokin wrote for Insider, “It makes no sense for me to still be here long after they have brought in and then released numerous violent offenders (robbers, rapists, would-be murderers) and people with an assortment of felony DUIs and grand larcenies. Do they not ‘clearly possess the knowledge’ to recommit the same crimes they’ve been accused of before, or do different standards apply to them?”

Anna Delvey’s boyfriend doesn’t exit… yet

She tweeted “Looking for a boyfriend” shortly after being released but only had several weeks ahead of her to sift through the applications that rolled in before she was taken into immigration’s custody. Luckily the timeline didn’t impede her, as just two days later, she tweeted that she’d lost interest in a boyfriend and wanted a job instead. 

As far as Chase Sikorski, the boyfriend depicted in Inventing Anna, goes, evidence suggests that it could have been Hunter Lee Soik, an entrepreneur that tried to launch a dream-analyzing app via Kickstarter, IRL, but nothing has been confirmed.

She’s BAck On Instagram – And She’s Selling the Identity of “chase” to the highest bidder

After her release, she returned to Instagram and Twitter, documenting her brief taste of freedom, but remained silent on both for almost a year since being detained by ICE. On February 2nd she became active on Instagram again, sharing her open letter for Business Insider and other features relating to Inventing Anna.

On February 16th, she shared to her story: “Want to know who the real “Chase” is? The media outlet with the highest bid gets the exclusive. Bid starts at $10k. DM to bid.” Next question: Who will pay the price?

It’s unclear if Sorokin has suddenly been given access to be posting these herself, or if someone is logging in on her behalf. Her Twitter has yet to be updated.

She’s Also making the rounds on popular podcasts

On the March 16th episode of Alex Cooper’s “Call Her Daddy,” Delvey offered glimpses into her daily life in jail, snippets of her childhood, and behind-the-scenes commentary on what really happened in Inventing Anna. According to Marie Claire, Sorokin claims that she never outright lied to anyone about being a German heiress. Instead, she says, no one ever asked. “I cannot testify to what people are assuming about me, I don’t know,” Sorokin said.

She also joined Julia Fox on Forbidden Fruits recently, where she shared that fame was never her goal in trying to launch her foundation. “I just wanted to succeed at every cost,” she said.

Sammi is the Lifestyle Editor at HerCampus.com, assisting with content strategy across sections. She's been a member of Her Campus since her Social Media Manager and Senior Editor days at Her Campus at Siena, where she graduated with a degree in Biology of all things. She moonlights as an EMT, and in her free time, she can be found playing post-apocalyptic video games, organizing her unreasonably large lipstick collection, learning "All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor's Version) (From The Vault)" on her guitar, or planning her next trip to Broadway.