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Rachel DeLoache Williams calls Inventing Anna ‘deceptive and misleading’

Williams accuses Netflix of being ‘irresponsible’ with facts of her experience with Anna Sorokin

Kate Ng
Thursday 14 April 2022 08:43 BST
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Katie Lowes plays a loathsome version of Anna Delvey’s ex-friend Rachel DeLoache Williams
Katie Lowes plays a loathsome version of Anna Delvey’s ex-friend Rachel DeLoache Williams (Netflix / Doctor Oz / Oz Media)

Rachel DeLoache Williams, who was defrauded by fake heiress and con artist Anna Sorokin, has condemned the Netflix series Inventing Anna as “deceptive and misleading”.

A fictionalised version of Williams appears in the series, which focuses on Sorokin – also known as Anna Delvey – and how she defrauded major financial institutions, banks, hotels and acquaintances between 2013 and 2017.

Williams, who wrote a book about her friendship with Delvey titled My Friend Anna, said the show “diverged so much from the truth” and was “irresponsible” in its storytelling.

Speaking to Stylist, she said: “It’s reckless to create backstories for characters that are fictional in a way that changes the truth of who they are.

“Of course entertainment is valid and stories need to be told. But I think this show does it in a way that’s very irresponsible”.

Williams has previously criticised her “shocking” portrayal in the Netflix series, in which her character, played by Katie Lowes, appeared opportunistic and shallow.

She wrote in Time Magazine that she “was not involved in the show”, adding: “I learned at the same time as the rest of the world that [the series] would feature Katie Lowes as a character named ‘Rachel’, described by Netflix in the following terms: ‘A natural-born follower whose blind worship of Anna almost destroys her job, her credit, and her life.

“’But while her relationship with Anna is her greatest regret, the woman she becomes because of Anna may be Anna’s greatest creation.’”

Williams continued: “I expected there would be times when the dramatisation of my experience would make me uncomfortable… But this Netflix description felt shocking.”

In her interview, the former Vanity Fair photography editor also added that because Netflix based her character’s background on her real-life education, work and experiences, it should have “honoured” certain facts.

“For example, the fact that I never defrauded my company where I worked – I was never investigated or suspended, none of that actually happened. And that crosses a line, I feel.

“Maybe there are some degrees of truth that can be subjective, but when it comes to facts, you can’t just rearrange them.”

Williams wrote in detail about a trip to Marrakesh that she took with Sorokin in 2018, during which she charged approximately US$62,000 (£45,688) to her cards under the false pretence that she would receive the money back from Sorokin.

Sorokin only ever paid back US$5,000 (£3,685) to Williams. She was found guilty of swindling more than US$200,000 (£147,000) from hotels, banks and other institutions in 2019.

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