Top 10 Things Inventing Anna Got Factually Right & Wrong

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Top 10 Things Inventing Anna Got Factually Right & Wrong

VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Tal Fox
You might be surprised by what "Inventing Anna" got right and wrong. For this list, we'll be looking at where the Netflix miniseries relied on facts about Anna Sorokin's story and what was too good, or bad, to be true. Our countdown includes Anna's accent, Anna the fashionista, chase Sikorski, and more!
Transcript

Top 10 Things Inventing Anna Got Factually Right and Wrong


Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Things Inventing Anna Got Factually Right and Wrong

For this list, we’ll be looking at where the Netflix miniseries relied on facts about Anna Sorokin’s story and what was too good, or bad, to be true.

Which truth or fiction surprised you the most? Let us know in the comments.

#10: Anna’s Accent
Right & Wrong


If you watch the series without ever having heard the real Sorokin talk, you might find that Julia Garner’s accent is, well, let’s just say, hard to place. But apparently, it’s pretty spot on. After all, the fake-heiress was born in Russia, moved to Germany as a teen, and supposedly learned English by watching American television. You can definitely hear all those layers in Garner’s interpretation. Still not convinced? What if we told you that she has the real Sorokin’s approval? Sure, she said, “I don’t feel like I sound like that,” but she also told Garner, “‘That’s so funny, that’s good!”. Listen to the actual Sorokin speak and give us your verdict on Garner’s accent in the comments.

#9: Tricking City National & Fortress Banks into Giving Loans
Right


The real Sorokin approached every endeavor with a “fake it til you make it” attitude. And you’ll notice that legality or ethics don’t really factor into her vision. In episode four, she tries to secure a pretty hefty loan from two different banks. But none of the assets she claimed to have were traceable, signaling multiple red flags. This part is true: Anna reportedly applied for loans that were between $22-25 million each at both City National Bank and Fortress Bank, but both denied her. Nevertheless, she still managed to get $100,000 credit from one of the banks, which she didn’t pay back. Sorokin had also amassed plenty of debt during this time due to her lavish New York lifestyle.

#8: Anna the Fashionista
Right


Anna wears high-end designer labels throughout the series and treats the world as her runway. But if you wondered how she kept up her fashion game in custody, well, she had a stylist. Her attorney, Todd Spodek, reportedly hired stylist to the stars, Anastasia Walker. He stated that it was important that Anna’s look “didn’t scream ‘inmate’” so that the jury would perceive her as innocent. Naturally, her looks sparked plenty of chatter, whether she wore a Yves Saint Laurent blouse or a $200 outfit from H&M. Perhaps most notably, her black dress with the plunging neckline attracted plenty of buzz. Supposedly, she once refused to go to court because she wasn’t happy with her outfit. You really can’t make these things up.

#7: A V.I.P. Prison Service
Wrong


For better or worse, Sorokin’s one exceptional lady. Only, unlike what we see in “Inventing Anna,” that won’t get you anywhere in Rikers Island. In reality, no reporter would be able to spontaneously drop by whenever they wanted. According to “The New York Times,” access to the infamous prison takes a lot of forward-planning and scheduling. Even if you did manage to get past all that red tape, no one’s going to hand you a nice hot mug of tea as you natter with the inmates. You could get coffee in a paper cup at most, but as Sorokin learned, nothing in life comes for free. As for privacy? What privacy? This is jail, after all. Yep, this rose-tinted prison life was pretty much fabricated.

#6: The Real Identity of Peter Hennecke
Right


Anna tells lawyer Alan Reed to reach out to Peter Hennecke, the head of her family’s office in Germany, for more information regarding her trust fund. She promised that he could provide all necessary documentation and handle wire transfers as well. But as we soon discover, Hennecke is just Anna with a questionable AOL email address, burner phone, and voice distortion app. While this might sound like something out of a heist movie, we’re here to tell you that it actually happened. Eventually, “Hennecke” stopped responding to his emails, or they started bouncing back. So, she simply killed off the persona and requested that the contacts “Please refrain from contacting or mentioning any communication with him going forward.”. But he wasn’t the only fake identity she’d invent.

#5: The Several Identities of Anna Sorokin
Right


While working for Purple Magazine, Sorokin rebranded herself as Anna Delvey, a wealthy German heiress. But this wasn’t the only character Anna conjured up in her pursuit to rise up the social and business ranks. We already talked about Hennecke, but when he “passed on,” she made up Bettina Wagner, who she alleged was the family’s accountant. Apparently, she researched how to create fake untraceable emails that wouldn’t bounce back, clearly learning from her previous experience. Of course, like Hennecke before, the non-existent Wagner was intended to take the fall when promised payments didn’t come through. Unfortunately for Sorokin, this all came back to bite her when, during her trial, Assistant District Attorney Catherine McCaw argued that these fabricated individuals were proof of criminal intent.

#4: Vivian Kent’s Involvement
Right & Wrong


Vivian Kent is the journalist, who, against her boss’s wishes, pursues Anna’s story in a precarious attempt to revive her career. She’s based on Jessica Pressler, from “New York Magazine,” who actually uncovered Anna’s story and also serves as a producer on the series. Several finer details are made up, such as the fictional “Manhattan Magazine,” as are many of her more questionable actions throughout the series. While the part about Kent’s journalistic past is correct, she’d already rebuilt her name by the time she met Sorokin. In fact, she wrote the 2015 article that inspired the 2019 movie “Hustlers.” Pressler herself has admitted that many of Vivian’s attributes rely more on creative license than mirror reality.

#3: Chase Sikorski
Wrong


We guess that Anna’s story wasn’t action-packed enough, so they decided to throw in a little romance too. However, as far as the sources go, Chase Sikorski probably isn’t a real person, leaving everyone to speculate over who the actual mystery man might be. Pressler’s article only touched on a former boyfriend with our only clues being that “The New Yorker” once did a piece on him and that he’s known in TED-Talk circles. Tech-entrepreneur Hunter Lee Soik seemed to fit the bill most closely among the various other speculated names. A 2014 Instagram post of Anna on a yacht might provide another hint as he’s tagged in it. But don’t quote us on this as Mr. Mysterious could also just be a figment of the writers’ imaginations.

#2: A Nightmarish Vacation in Morocco
Right


In episode six, Anna invites her personal trainer, a videographer, and Vanity Fair journalist Rachel Williams on a lavish Moroccan break. And according to a first-person feature written by Williams, much of what we see actually happened. She was duped into paying for the entire trip with a promise to be reimbursed — although, as you can guess by now, Anna had no intent or means to follow through. Williams footed around $62,000 for the holiday, of which she only ever saw $5,000 returned by her so-called friend. Realizing that Anna wasn’t the person she thought she was, Williams contacted the New York County District Attorney’s Office. She became the catalyst of the sting operation that resulted in Anna Sorokin’s arrest.

#1: Anna Appropriates a Jet
Right


Sometimes fiction can’t hold a candle to the truth, and this is one of those instances. With the hopes of making a grand entrance to Warren Buffet’s annual investment conference in episode 4, Anna texts the CEO of a private jet company. Even though she only knows him from meeting him at a party this one time, she requests that he gets a plane for her and her friends. Remarkably, he agrees to charter a $35,000 ride to Omaha without even taking a deposit. Apparently, the rules were waived for Sorokin since they were on friendly terms. While there wasn’t a physical theft per se, she did promise a wire transfer that (surprise, surprise) never arrived, and she did use the planet without coughing up the fees for the service. She hoodwinked so many people that it was clear the depths of her deceptions knew no bounds.
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