'Inventing Anna' subject Rachel Williams sues Netflix for defamation

Author Rachel DeLoache Williams visits the SiriusXM Studios on August 05, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

A former Vanity Fair worker is suing Netflix over how she was portrayed in the streaming platform's Emmy-nominated "Inventing Anna" series.

Rachel DeLoache Williams says Netflix added fictional traits to her for the docudrama.

She filed the suit Monday in Delaware, where Netflix is incorporated, claiming "defamation and false light invasion of privacy" from knowingly false statements.  The lawsuit lists 16 sets of statements it considers to be defamatory.

The show details the exploits of fake heiress Anna Sorokin, aka Anna Delvey.

Williams claims that Netflix showed her doing or saying things that portray her as greedy, snobbish, disloyal, dishonest, cowardly, manipulative, and opportunistic person.

The lawsuit claims Williams has been the subject of thousands of abusive online messages due to her portrayal in the series.

Williams was played by Katie Lowes in the Netflix series.


Anna Sorokin better known as Anna Delvey, is seen in the courtroom during her trial at New York State Supreme Court in New York on April 11, 2019. -(Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

Williams was a 28-year-old photo editor working for Vanity Fair in New York when she met Anna Sorokin.  Sorokin was passing herself off as a German heiress called Anna Delvey who had a substantial trust fund at her disposal.

Related: Anna Sorokin speaks out: 'I don't see a reason why I should be banned forever'

Williams and Sorokin became friends and socialized.

On a trip to Morocco, Williams had $62,000 charged to her credit cards after Sorokin persuaded her to use them on her behalf.  Sorokin only ended up paying back about $5,000 of the money.

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Williams later contacted prosecutors to say she had been ripped off by Sorokin.

Williams wrote a 2018 article for Vanity Fair about her experience with Sorokin.  She also sold the rights to her story to HBO.  The network ultimately decided not to make the program.

Related: Co-organizer of Anna Sorokin art show says she is still owed money

In April of 2019, Sorokin stood trial for grand larceny and other charges.  The jury convicted her on eight counts but acquitted her of larceny against Williams.

She published a book about her experiences in July 2019.

Sorokin was sentenced to 4-12 years in prison and was released after serving less than 4 years of her sentence.

Soon after her release, she was taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  She remains in custody in Goshen, NY while she attempts to avoid deportation.