In an interview with Anna Tingley in Variety, Anna Sorokin the fake German heiress portrayed in Shonda Rhimes’ Netflix docuseries, “Inventing Anna”, says that even on house arrest she’s “still living better than you”.
After being released from prison in February of 2021, she was detained again six weeks later by immigration authorities for overstaying her visa. As of October 2022, Sorokin is required to remain in a 24-hour home confinement with electronic monitoring and no access to social media.
Nightlife is no longer an option for her, clubbing is a thing of the past, but the requests for interviews and photo shoots keep on coming, only now these must be from home.
She’s been on a packed press schedule since her release and now that she’s out of jail, Sorokin is back to promoting more of the same: herself, something at which she excels.
Her apartment is small but a newly renovated one-bedroom apartment in the heart of the East Village means it comes with a big price tag. Four huge prints from Graham Fortgang’s “New York Is Dead” photo series take up most of the space on her wall (these cost $2,500 to $8,000 each, but she says she got them for free through a pop-up event she has planned with gallery owner Samara Bliss).
One wall is dedicated to her own art, illustrations that she created while behind bars and whose copied prints, she says, have already made her a whopping $200,000, the sum that allowed her to post bail and pay the three months’ worth of rent that landed her the apartment.
She sees herself as a hard worker: “I don’t know why people are so surprised, it’s not like I pulled off something overnight,” she says. “I was constantly working while I was in jail and I sold a lot of my art, I wasn’t just sitting there doing nothing.”
The Netflix series created by Shonda Rhimes details the real-life story of 31 year-old Sorokin, who throughout the 2010s took the name Anna Delvey as she scammed her way through Manhattan, using an invented trust fund to persuade the city’s power brokers to invest in a members-only arts club. In 2019, she was convicted of grand larceny, among a slew of other financial crimes, for stealing more than $200,000 from investors, banks and friends, and ultimately destroying the lives of many in her innermost circle. She spent the majority of her two-year sentence in Rikers prison. When asked about scamming even her best friend, Rachel, or about the negative image that follows her, Anna replies, “I find it interesting, I get over it quickly.”
Sorokin has big plans for a memoir project and more for her art, but the most fleshed-out venture she has in the pipeline is a dinner series. The VIP invitation-only concept would allow a select group of attendees to her house for dinner. She says she wants to use the dinners to support criminal justice organizations such as the Marshall Project, the ACLU and the Equal Justice Initiative (EGI). Elon Musk is one of the people that she most admires and that she would like to see at her table. “I think what I like about [Elon] is his views are very fluid and constantly changing. So, he doesn’t really have any issues admitting that he’s wrong or changing his opinions without being uptight, as long as it’s on his terms. I feel like not a lot of people do that.”
Everything is in the early stages so she doesn’t have any organizations on board yet. However, her inbox is allegedly flooded with celebrity chefs looking to cater the glitzy events, and production companies looking to make it into a show.
There’s no denying that Anna knows her brand and her image—she should know, she created both from scratch. In the meantime, inventive entrepreneur that she is, she has created an NFT project called the Anna Access Card that allows you to buy a one-on-one conversation with the crafty fraudster.
“Nobody ever cares about my thoughts on criminal justice, like how I would want to reform it or make a difference. I feel like it’d be a shame if I were to waste my voice and the attention I’m getting on just a photo shoot,” she says, as she continues to pose for the camera.
“I’m in this unique position where I actually have a platform, and I have the credibility of somebody who’s actually been through the system as opposed to just being a random famous person who needs a pet cause.”
“It’s gotten so much attention because it’s still not completely out of character,” she continues. “It’s not me, like feeding homeless children. It’s still something that people would expect of me.”
Sorokin has no regrets, “I never really saw [the sequence of events] in that way” she says, still smiling. It seems that she always lands on her feet. “Everyone’s saying I’m slumming, but I’m still living better than all of you.”