The important thing is not to be but to appear, says a popular saying that can summarize the media story of Anna Sorokin, known by her alias Anna Delvey.
The Russian immigrant, now 31 years old, posed as a wealthy German heiress in New York high society and managed to defraud banks, hotels and acquaintances.
Her social networks were frequently updated with the daily life of her luxurious fantasy, until she was arrested on October 3, 2017 in Los Angeles.
The story became world famous thanks to “Inventing Anna”, the Netflix series inspired by her case and in which Sorokin herself collaborated as a paid consultant.
The success of the series has not only brought him financial benefit, it has also opened up more opportunities for him in the world of entertainment.
The paradox is that this has happened while Sorokin has been deprived of liberty and with uncertainty about his future in the United States.
So what has happened to his legal case and what has he said from prison?
A process legal continues
A year after his arrest, in late 2018, Sorokin appeared in a New York court and pleaded not guilty.
He has said that going to trial was the only way he would have to tell his side of the story.
In March 2019, a trial against him began that lasted a month, during which time Sorokin managed to receive different clothing for his public appearances. As he has explained, he did it because his clothes were the only thing he could control in the narrative about his case.
The photos with their outfits during the trial circulated widely on social networks.
In April 2019, the jury found her guilty of theft of services and grand theft for defrauding banks and luxury hotels of more than $200,000 USD.
She was abused for attempting to scam her then-friend Rachel DeLoache Williams, who ended up with a debt of approximately $62,000 USD, after they traveled with two other people to Morocco and stayed at a luxury resort.
Sorokin’s sentence, for eight of the 10 charges against him, was a minimum of four years and a maximum of 12 in federal prison.
Almost two years later and thanks to his good behavior, Sorokin was paroled in February 2021 and immediately returned to social media.
But just six weeks later, in March 2021, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) held her in custody for having overstayed her visa.
A year has passed since then and Sorokin is still detained in a New Jersey prison awaiting a decision on her possible deportation to Germany, the country in which she grew up and of which she is a citizen.
Sorokin has said that she hopes to stay in America because Germany is, for her, worse than prison.
From prison to entertainment
Since her story became known through an article by journalist Jessica Pressler, published in New York magazine, Anna Sorokin has made appearances in various media, including the BBC in English.
During her first few interviews, Sorokin was confident and cheerful, saying she identified as Anna Delvey and felt no guilt about her actions.
He also recognized that Netflix paid him $320,000 for the rights of his story, that he has used that money to pay restitution and legal expenses, as required by law, but that in the end his life continues to happen in prison no matter how much money he has been paid.
His critics, on the other hand, point out that he has used the entire legal process to gain more fame, which is why he wanted to have a media trial and that he made an effort to pose in fashion in the middle of the audiences.
As for the Netflix series, its lack of clarity and the fine line between fiction and reality have been questioned.
Some critics argue that by prioritizing the soap opera aesthetic that generates intrigue, it ends up inflating the facts and characters to the point of leaving viewers with serious doubts about what really happened.
Also, it has been said that Delvey’s character falls short and fails to explain why he was able to fool so many people.
In a recent interview with The New York Times, Sorokin said he has a lot more to share about his story. He anticipated that he is preparing a documentary and that he is writing a book and working on a podcast about his time in prison.
He also clarified that his first public statements were made under pressure, but that he does not want to encourage others to commit financial crimes and that if he could go back he would have acted differently.
She says that more than glorifying herself, she is focused on making the best of her experience.
Now you can receive notifications from BBC World. Download the new version of our app and activate it so you don’t miss out on our best content.
We would love to give thanks to the author of this write-up for this amazing material
Anna Delvey: what has happened to her legal case and how has she received the success of the series from prison? – BBC News World