Fans of Gossip Girl and/or The Bling Ring, you are in luck. Over the past few months, the story of the first big “scammin’ for the ‘Gram” con artist has come out, and it is wild. I’m already excited for the movie. Here’s the story. On the surface, Anna Delvey (born Sorokin, age 27) is basically everyone you follow on Instagram. She was rich, she always dressed in designer clothes, and she frequented restaurants whose entrées cost more than your rent. She also happened to be a massive fucking fraud (allegedly), and is currently in jail on charges of alleged grand larceny and theft of services. So, how did this complete rando casually adopt the lifestyle of a Kardashian? (No, this is not a how-to guide. Note the part where she’s in jail.) Let’s take a look. The Cut did an amazing job reporting on it, and you should definitely read the complete story, but if you don’t have time to read it all right now but don’t want to sound stupid at happy hour when literally everyone is talking about it, here’s our shorter breakdown for you to read first.
What Did Anna Delvey Do?
What’s sad/brilliant is how fucking easy it all sounds. Anna shows up with her “ambiguously accented” English, giant Céline sunnies, and a seemingly endless supply of cash. Naturally, people fall all over themselves to befriend this assumed trust fund baby. They spend a few months enjoying extravagant gifts, dinners, and weekend getaways—until Anna’s credit card “stops working,” and someone needs to cover the bill.
In total, Anna allegedly scammed an estimated $275,000, including at least $50,000 in unpaid NYC hotel fees alone. Am I appalled for the individuals Delvey ripped off? Absolutely. Am I the tiniest bit impressed at her innate gift for spending money like a billionaire? Um, yeah. The list of Delvey’s purchases—not including the thousands on airfare, hotels, and decadent vacations—covers a $3,500 private jet rental, multiple Tesla rentals, $4,500 personal training sessions, Gucci sandals, Alexander Wang leggings, Supreme hoodies, $800 highlights, $400 eyelash extensions, cryotherapy, multiple iPhones, and a case of 1975 Dom Perignon. Wait, is this my Pinterest page or someone’s rap sheet? V confusing.
Actual footage of Delvey walking through her hotel lobby:
So, Who TF Was This Girl?
As for the origin story of Anna Delvey, we know she grew up in Russia, went to school in Germany/London, and then got an internship in Paris at Purple magazine. As I assume happens to most people who intern at fashion magazines in Paris, this is where Anna took a turn into becoming a horrible person. The next few years of her life are hazy, but basically she emerges into New York’s social scene. By 2013, she was a Fashion Week regular, attended “all the best parties,” hosted celebrity dinners with random guests like Macaulay Culkin and Martin Shkreli, and was, as one acquaintance put it, part of “the 200 or so people you see everywhere.” Delvey was reportedly not, as you might expect, “superhot…or super-charming; she wasn’t even very nice.” All that mattered was that she was in the right places, wearing the right clothes, and appearing to spend the right amount of money.
Why Did No One Stop Her?
The big question, obviously, is how she kept the alleged scam up so long. At the rate she was burning money, the fact that she didn’t have the capital to back it up definitely should have come up sooner. And the reason it didn’t is definitely not because she had an airtight story or was particularly good at lying. To begin with, this girl was claiming to be a German heiress without really speaking German. As this Independent article points out (a little too gleefully IMO—we get it, Americans are dumb), “a quick quiz in German could have cleared it all up very speedily.” But honestly, no one who was around Delvey had any interest in finding out if her story was fake—people just wanted her to keep buying shit, trusting that the payment would eventually come through.
As for how she covered it when payment didn’t come through—which was often—Delvey allegedly claimed unsuccessful wire transfers from a (nonexistent) trust fund in Germany. She also reportedly fabricated a financial adviser named Peter W. Hennecke who corresponded on her behalf when she attempted to get a loan of $25 to $35 million from various banks. The phone number associated with Hennecke was found to be a burner from a supermarket, his email was an AOL account, and when people started asking questions, Delvey literally pretended Hennecke had died. I cannot make this up. Ultimately, her debts caught up to her, and she was arrested outside rehab facility Passages in Malibu. How very Lohan of her.
What’s She Doing Now?
As mentioned, Delvey is currently in jail, a turn of events she’s taken surprisingly well. “People seem to think it’s horrible,” Delvey says about literal prison, “but I see it as like, this sociological experiment.” Many quotes from Delvey’s time in jail give me pause, like when she marvels over her cellmates’ accounts of identity theft (“I didn’t realize it was so easy”), and the tidbit that “the murderers were the most interesting to her.”
Essentially, this girl is troubled—a fact equally on display in her still-existing Instagram account, which features terrible selfies interspersed with pictures of literally blank white space. Also, most of the comments on these pictures are from clearly fake accounts, with 5-10 posting the same comment verbatim within minutes. This is not the Instagram account of someone who is okay.
If there’s a lesson to learn here, it’s that owning designer athleisure and keeping a stack of $100 bills handy is a great way to convince people you have a trust fund. Seriously though, it’s an extreme example of how the Instagram existence we crave is more often than not an illusion, specifically designed to blind people with displays of money while obscuring the reality underneath. Maybe if we were less desperate to make our lives LOOK wealthy and fabulous, we wouldn’t be so eager to believe someone like Delvey, who displayed more than a few red flags. And maybe we could stop breeding criminals whose primary goal is to spend more money on bottle service and sweatpants from Supreme. Just a thought.
Images: Giphy (5)
While we regret many decisions from the night before and we swear it off every time we’re hugging the toilet the next day, betches love alcohol. We’ve loved it since we first discovered our parents’ liquor stash and once we discovered what a funnel could do to a sorority girl, well, it was just downhill from there. Before the hangover, though,
a bottle several glasses of wine make us feel relaxed, (overly) confident, and definitely way funnier than we are. I know, like, binge drinking is sooo bad for you blah blah blah. I know what alcoholism is, I’m not an idiot. We’ve heard it all, including how much havoc it wreaks on our skin. And yet, that still doesn’t stop us from bar hopping every weekend. WELL, joke’s on you MOM. I actually found out the only things that keep us sane our fave alcohols can do wonders for our faces. Because we’re honestly the epitome of lazy and have a slight drinking problem, here’s a few DIY facial masks you can make with your beloved alcohol—that is, provided you can part with it.
1. Bubbly Rosé Facial
This is really not that surprising. Apparently, wine facials are very much a thing and I’m upset that
I have shitty friends no one ever told me about them. According to boring people, red wine in moderation (whatever the fuck that means) is like, good for your heart and shit. Therefore, wine = me living forever at the rate I’m going. When applied directly onto your face, rosé also removes excess oil and restores skin discoloration. Mix a tablespoon of plain yogurt (Yoplait won’t work), two tablespoons of raw honey (so not the bear shit), and a tablespoon of rosé. Stir it all up and lather on your face for like, 10 minutes before rinsing. Friday night plans? I think yes.
2. Vodka Toner
Um, forget a vodka tonic. It’s all about the vodka toner from now on. Tell your therapist that vodka isn’t all bad for you, SO THERE. For skin care, it’s a great makeup remover (though you should probs keep that shit away from your eyes) and it tightens your pores. All you really need is distilled water and good ol’ Tito’s. Always keep it to a 1:3 ratio of vodka to water and use a cotton ball to apply to desired areas. If you really feel like being extra, add a little olive oil and rosemary for max results.
3. Malibu Facial
Ah, Malibu. The most basic liquor of them all. Oddly enough, this clear rum offers some pretty damn good benefits for our face. There are a couple of ways to use this. If you’re prone to ashy skin, mix some rum and cream together for a crazy good moisturizer. Might smell weird, but also might smell like pineapples. For dreadful areas on your face like your T-zone, mix a combo of Malibu, honey, and olive oil for super soft clear skin that smells like Jamaica and piña coladas. YUM. Rinse off after like, 10 minutes, though.
Your Dad’s Chest Hair Jack Daniel’s Facial
If you insist that your love for whiskey is like no other, I’m going to assume you probably wear John Deere and say shit like “I’m not like other girls.” For the rest of us, your dad’s and your boyfriend’s favorite liquor can actually be put to good use when they’re not sipping it. If you can snag some, mix two tablespoons of whiskey, a tablespoon of lemon juice and honey, teaspoon of milk, and one egg. OK this isn’t the best smelling or sounding combo ever, but your reward is bright, hydrated, firm, wrinkle-free skin, so don’t complain. Oh, and no, Fireball will not work so do not even think about it.