Was it the plan for Rachel Williams to appear to be a horrible person in Inventing Anna on Netflix? Yes, it did, according to Williams’ defamation lawsuit against the network.
“VIP Is Always Better!”
An online journal published Williams’ piece about her encounter with infamous con artist Anna Delvey (real name Anna Sorokin) in April 2018, just before New York Magazine released its exposé of the fictitious heiress and her enormous swindling. Williams’ article is portrayed as a superficial, self-serving version of New York’s in-depth research in Inventing Anna, which is based on the New York piece. In reality, Williams’ character (played by Katie Lowes), who uses her true name and many of her facts, including her place of employment, often comes out as awful.
Williams claims in her defamation action that Netflix intentionally made her seem to be “a vile and contemptible person,” which caused irreparable injury to her reputation and made her the target of online hate and harassment.
The lawsuit speculates that it may have been influenced by Williams’ sale of the rights to her narrative to HBO for a rival Anna Sorokin biographical series. “Given the easy alternative of protecting her by using a fictional name, the decision to use her real name evidence Netflix’s intent to harm her reputation, thereby justifying the imposition of punitive damages,” the lawsuit reads. This is especially true if Netflix made that choice because Williams had sold her rights to the competing Sorokin project being developed by HBO.
Inventing Anna Became Very Controversial
Williams’ position on how Inventing Anna portrays her — and Anna — remains unwavering. She previously stated that she doesn’t want to get caught in the weeds of what is right versus what’s not, in an interview with her former workplace. However, this is not why she was fired from Vanity Fair. She did not assist her pal in defrauding her employer.
She argued that the second she sat down to defend herself, especially because there is now a false narrative about both herself and the bigger picture, she is just contributing to the tendency to take sides when there isn’t truly a two-sided argument here.
Williams wrote My Friend Anna after Sorokin had defrauded her of $62,000. She started by writing a personal essay. Williams adds that Sorokin herself received $300,000 from Netflix for the rights to her story in Inventing Anna, dispelling any notion that the book was an attempt by her to illicitly benefit from the narrative.