Inventing Anna: What's True and What's Totally Made Up

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SPOILER warning for Inventing Anna.

Inventing Anna, the first show to emerge from Netflix's blockbuster deal with great television creator Shonda Rhimes (Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, Grey’s Anatomy), boasts at the beginning of each episode that "This whole story is completely true, except for all the parts that are totally made up" in Anna Delvey's life.

Despite bordering on the absurd at points, many of Inventing Anna's storyline twists and details resemble what actually transpired and what was published in the exposé, with some real-life incidents sounding even stranger than what the show depicts.

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Here are the changes made by Netflix's Inventing Anna, as well as the things it gets right.


Anna's Trial and Court Appearance Really Got People Talking

The real Anna Delvey – or Anna Sorokin - like her fictional counterpart, refused to wear the clothing provided by the court. It not only happened multiple times, as Inventing Anna demonstrates, but Sorokin also hired a celebrity stylist for the ensembles she was meant to wear during the hearings. The clothes grew famous, and there's an Instagram account dedicated to them, with the earliest post dating back to Mar. 27, 2019, just like on the show.

The Real Anna Eventually Showed Remorse

Right after her sentencing, Sorokin said in an interview that she wasn't sorry but regretted "the way she went about certain things," reflecting the acts of Inventing Anna's protagonist, Julie Garner. However, the real Sorokin changed her mind in October 2019.

According to The New York Post, Sorokin stated in a parole board hearing that her comment following her sentencing was taken out of context and that she was "really ashamed and really sorry" for what she committed.

Anna Wasn't Persuaded to Go to trial by Vivian Kent

The first episode of Netflix's Inventing Anna heavily indicates that Vivian persuades Anna to go to trial, but this would not only be unethical if a journalist did so in real life, but it would also never have happened because the show's timeline differs from the real-life one.

Vivian is based on journalist Jessica Pressler, who found out about Anna after the bogus heiress had already decided she wanted a trial. Furthermore, despite the fact that Pressler did write a listicle including a piece of news that turned out to be false, her journalistic reputation had already rebounded following her 2015 feature The Hustlers at Scores, which is the basis for the 2019 movie Hustlers.


Anna's Family Continued to Support Her

Todd, played by Arian Moayed of Succession, calls Anna's parents in Inventing Anna Episode 9 to persuade them to support her during the trial, but eventually fails. Throughout the series, Anna's family is shown as distant, since they don't understand her or her acts and have given up on her.

Despite the fact that Sorokin's family was not present at her trial or sentencing, they did participate in it by submitting a letter to Diane Kiesel, the judge who was supposed to sentence her. Sorokin's family wrote to the judge, appealing for leniency, explaining she "took a series of incorrect decisions to accomplish her goals," but that she wasn't a person who should be behind bars, according to Insider.

In the letter, they also confirmed that they had previously communicated, contrary to what Inventing Anna depicts.

Inventing Anna is available to stream now on Netflix.