Victim of Anna Delvey, Rachel Williams Sues Netflix over its portrayal of "Inventing Anna" - STECHITEGIST Victim of Anna Delvey, Rachel Williams Sues Netflix over its portrayal of "Inventing Anna"
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Victim of Anna Delvey, Rachel Williams Sues Netflix over its portrayal of “Inventing Anna”

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Victim of Anna Delvey, Rachel Williams Sues Netflix over its portrayal of "Inventing Anna", STECHITEGIST

Netflix is embroiled in a brand-new legal dispute as a result of the true crime limited series Inventing Anna on con artist Anna Sorokin, also known as Anna Delvey. According to court records, Rachel DeLoache Williams, who is depicted by actress Katie Lowes in the show, filed a defamation action against Netflix on Monday over her portrayal in Inventing Anna.

“This action will show that Netflix made a deliberate decision for dramatic purposes to show Williams doing or saying things in the Series which portray her as a greedy, snobbish, disloyal, dishonest, cowardly, manipulative and opportunistic person,” reads the lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court of Delaware.

Williams’ attorney Alexander Rufus-Isaacs said in a statement: “The reason why we had to file the case is because Netflix used Rachel’s real name and biographical details, and made her out to be a horrible person, which she is not.” Williams, 34, wrote about her experience with Sorokin, 31, in 2018 for Vanity Fair, where she worked as a photo editor when the fake German heiress allegedly conned her into incurring around $62,000 of debt on her corporate credit card during a trip to Morocco.

Victim of Anna Delvey, Rachel Williams Sues Netflix over its portrayal of "Inventing Anna", STECHITEGIST

She later wrote the book My Friend Anna: The True Story of a Fake Heiress, published by Simon & Schuster in 2019, in addition to inking a since-expired deal with HBO about her story, which was to be produced by Lena Dunham. The lawsuit refutes a majority of how she was portrayed in the Netflix series, including making negative remarks made about Sorokin’s friend Neff Davis (played by Alexis Floyd), freeloading off Sorokin (Julia Garner), abandoning Sorokin in Morocco when she was in trouble, dropping Sorokin as a friend when she could no longer pay for things and lying to people about helping police apprehend Sorokin.

“In reality, she never did or said those things. Thus, this action is based firmly on statements of fact which are demonstrably false and the attribution of statements that she never made,” the complaint reads, arguing that she was depicted as “a vile and contemptible person,” leading to “a torrent of online abuse, negative in-person interactions, and pejorative characterizations” targeting Williams.

The complaint references quotes from Lowes, 39, and series creator Shonda Rhimes that appear to support the argument they intentionally fictionalized elements of the character for the sake of plot. It also argues that her character’s identity wasn’t altered or concealed, surmising that the choice was retaliation for selling her story to HBO. “The catastrophic damage to Williams’ reputation was completely avoidable,” the lawsuit reads.

Victim of Anna Delvey, Rachel Williams Sues Netflix over its portrayal of "Inventing Anna", STECHITEGIST
Anna Delvey

“Netflix gave fictional names to many of the real life protagonists in the Sorokin saga who appear in the Series, but it did not afford Williams the same protection. Instead, it used her real name and personal details (such as her employer, neighborhood and alma mater) in the Series and cast an actress who resembled her in many ways.

“Given the easy alternative of protecting her by using a fictional name, the decision to use her real name evidences Netflix’s intent to harm her reputation, thereby justifying the imposition of punitive damages, especially if Netflix made that decision because Williams had sold her rights to the rival Sorokin project being developed by HBO,” it continues.

Sorokin was found guilty of eight charges in 2019, including attempted grand larceny in the first degree, grand larceny in the second degree, grand larceny in the third degree, and theft of services, after stealing more than $200,000 from New York’s elite and attempting to swindle millions more from her friends and banks.

Although she was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison and a $24,000 fine, in addition to $198,956 in restitution, Sorokin was released on good behavior two years into her sentence and is currently in an ICE detention center as her lawyer attempts to appeal her deportation.

Victim of Anna Delvey, Rachel Williams Sues Netflix over its portrayal of "Inventing Anna", STECHITEGIST

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