If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I have truly been living for America’s favorite scammer: Anna Delvey. Last year felt like The Year of The Scam when story after story fed the news cycle about people getting screwed over by con artists, but none were so captivating as the story of the broke millennial who managed to scam New York’s elite, and one Vanity Fair photo editor, out of all of their money, one happy hour and lavish vacation at a time. An icon, truly.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Anna Delvey’s story, then may I just say, what a magical place must be the rock you live under. Do you also consider your home to be an enchanted tower where your only means of exiting is via the 40-foot-long braid you grew from your own head? Because I’m seriously at a loss as to how you could have missed the SCAM TO END ALL SCAMS. But fine, mole people, I suppose I’ll humor you. Anna Delvey aka Anna Sorokin posed as a German heiress and managed to infiltrate her way into Manhattan’s elite social scene before conning her friends and business partners out of a cool $275,000. Since her trial and sentencing last year (she’s currently sending selfies from Rikers Island, where she’ll be for the next 4-12 years serving time for her fraud), her story has continued to fuel the news cycle and also my will to live. More recently, My Friend Anna, a tell-all book written by Rachel Deloache Williams, one of Anna’s former friends and victims, was published over the summer. And now, friends, it gets even better, because Netflix released casting details about the series they are producing based on the fake heiress’ life.
The show, entitled Inventing Anna, is based off of Jessica Pressler’s original damning 2018 New York Magazine article “How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People” and will focus on the relationship between Anna and a journalist who attempts to get to the truth about Anna amidst her trial. Who will take on the small screen adaptation of such a sordid and twisted tale, you ask? MOTHERF*CKING SHONDA RHIMES, THAT’S WHO. That’s right, the woman who has been treating my fragile emotional state like an Auntie Ann’s pretzel that she can twist and manipulate to her liking through 16 seasons of watching the absolute tomfoolery that occurs at a little place called Seattle Grace Hospital, will be taking on the story of Anna Delvey. I honestly could not think of a better person to tackle this monumental task. If there’s one thing Shonda Rhimes thrives off of, it’s messy drama, and nothing is messier than a broke millennial with an apparent aversion to hairbrushes taking New York’s richest for all they’re worth.
Netflix just released the cast list for the series, and it is everything I hoped it would be and more. Julia Garner, who just won an Emmy for her role in Ozark, will play Anna herself. In a press release, Netflix describes the role of Anna as “a young woman in her mid-20s with a hard-to-place European accent who takes New York by storm. Either a brilliant businesswoman or a scammer extraordinaire, Anna in turn inspires loyalty, compassion, contempt, and obsession—all while leaving behind an emotional body count.” AN EMOTIONAL BODY COUNT. Well, at least Shonda won’t be able to kill off any of Anna’s friends and family members. For once. RIP MCSTEAMY—I’ll never forgive you for for that one, Shonda!
Next up, we’ve got Anna Chlumsky from My Girl and Veep fame, who will play the journalist (aka Vivian) investigating Anna throughout her trial. Apparently Vivian hopes that Anna’s story will be the thing that revives her career, but the more she investigates Anna, the more attached she becomes. So basically she’s me. Anna Chlumsky will be playing the role of me. Can’t wait to watch the scene where she skips out on a happy hour and other basic human interaction to scroll through Anna’s IG feed for 20 hours straight!
Other cast members include Laverne Cox, who will play Kacy Duke, a celebrity trainer and life coach who gets sucked into Anna’s inner circle; Katie Lowes of Scandal fame, who will play Anna’s friend Rachel (aka the author of My Friend Anna); and Alexis Floyd, who’s set to play the role of Neff, the concierge who worked at the Soho hotel Anna frequented (on someone else’s dime). Earlier this year, news broke that Lena Dunham was also working on an adaptation of the Anna Delvey story for HBO, but there have been no updates since the summer.
While there is no date set for the series premiere at this time, we’re told it will probably air sometime in 2020. The series is slated for 10 episodes, which lets me know that I’ll need to clear my schedule for at least double that: 10 hours to watch the show, and another 10 to unpack wtf I just watched and see if there’s any way to incorporate Anna’s tactics into my next Ship date. I’ve got some credit card debt I need paid off. Until then, start clearing your schedules now, because it ! is ! happening !
Images: Getty Images
About two weeks ago, I had the best week of my life. No, I didn’t get a raise or a boyfriend or a puppy or anything like that. In fact, nothing of significance happened to me personally. What did happen, though, was the news breaking about Anna Delvey, fake socialite and scammer extraordinaire. As a person who follows internet scams and multilevel marketing companies with the diligence of a fictional retired FBI detective trying to solve that one case that’s eluded him his entire career, the Anna Delvey story was my Christmas. I’m not a scammer, but I love scams. Anna Delvey was and is fascinating to me. This 25-year-old girl was able to (allegedly) scam high-end hotels, businesses, and her rich friends out of a collective $275,000 by sheer audacity and a little fraud. Okay, a lot of fraud. Allegedly. Whatever. So you can imagine the level of absolute glee and excitement I felt last night at the gym when, scrolling through my Instagram instead of doing another rep of tricep dips, I noticed that the one and only Anna Delvey posted an Instagram. From Rikers.
Of course I immediately screenshotted Anna Delvey’s Instagram and promptly sent it to all my friends. And here it is below, in all its glory:
There is so much to unpack here. Firstly, Anna changed her Instagram handle. When I first followed her, when the article in The Cut first came out, her handle was @annadlvv. Now, it’s @theannadelvey. This girl knows they’re gonna make a Lifetime movie about her, and she is fucking prepped.
So we’ve got a selfie of Anna and her friend Neff, who you’ll remember from The Cut article worked at 11 Howard, with some animal face filter. The caption, which didn’t make it into my screenshot but you can see if you head to the Instagram, is “Thelma & Louise”. Thelma & Louise is a movie about two female friends who are on the run from the law, so again, clearly Anna does not take her incarceration very seriously. This is all compounded by the fact that this Instagram is geotagged FROM RIKERS ISLAND PRISON.
I have a lot of questions, mainly, you can Instagram from prison now?? If so, maybe I should plan my stay—I could use the mandated gym time.
I’m kidding, OBVIOUSLY. I am pretty shocked that Rikers Island even has a geotag on Instagram (I’d think they would block that shit from all satellites like Area 51 or something), and I’m even more shocked that Anna is shamelessly uploading a selfie from prison. To be fair, some commenters are pointing out that Neff might have gotten Anna’s password and uploaded it on her behalf, so it’s possible Anna is not surreptitiously Instagramming from the prison bathroom like this is Orange is the New Black.
But still, you’d think that someone who’s currently being charged with a felony would try to lay low and not attract attention to him or herself. Apparently not. To me, the fact that Anna Delvey posted an Instagram while still incarcerated underscores what she said in The Cut: that she sees prison as “this sociological experiment”. And isn’t that the exact quality needed in someone to pull of a scam of this caliber—complete disregard for the consequences of one’s actions and the law in general, and a total lack of shame?
One thing is clear: this isn’t the last we’ll see of Anna Delvey, and I have a feeling she’s not done scamming. Not by a long shot.
Images: Getty Images; theannadelvey / Instagram