Yes, Netflix Paid Anna Delvey For Inventing Anna, But What Did She Do With The Money?

Anna Delvey wanted to become famous, the Netflix series Inventing Anna, told us, but would selling her story to the streaming service also allow her to cash in on her experiences? The miniseries, created by Shonda Rhimes, told the story of Anna Sorokin — who went by the name Anna Delvey — who allegedly lied her way onto the New York social scene and scammed banks, hotels and friends in the process. Netflix reportedly paid Sorokin $320,000 for the rights to adapt her story, which premiered this month, so how did the socialite spend the money?

Inventing Anna shows the ritzy life of Anna Sorokin through her 2017 arrest and trial. Julia Garner (of Ozark fame) plays the fake German heiress, who was sentenced to four to twelve years in prison after being found guilty on six of eight charges of larceny and other crimes. While netting $320,000 from Netflix, she apparently used the money to pay off her debts, according to Insider.

Anna Sorokin used $199,000 to pay restitution to the banks, $24,000 to settle New York state fines and more than $75,000 in attorney fees, Insider reports, leaving not very much of that Netflix money at all. The state of New York had frozen her funds in May 2019 under the “Son of Sam” law that prevents criminals from profiting from their crimes. However, a judge ordered her accounts unfrozen ahead of her February 2021 release from prison so that she could pay off her victims. 

While Anna Sorokin maintained that she didn’t steal from anyone, her appeals attorney Audrey A. Thomas said Sorokin still believed she owed the money. According to Thomas:

She said, 'You know, I want them to be paid. I didn't steal the money, but I do owe money, so I'm not going to fight it. That's not who I am.'

Anna Sorokin was released from prison in February 2021 but arrested again just six weeks later for overstaying her visa. She remains in ICE custody as she waits to learn if she'll be deported to Germany.

The Netflix series was inspired by a New York Magazine article, “How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People,” written by Jessica Pressler and published in 2018. In Inventing Anna, Anna Chlumsky plays Vivian Kent, a journalist based on Pressler, who becomes involved (probably too involved) with Julia Garner’s fake heiress. 

Along with Anna Chlumsky and two-time Emmy Award winner Julia Garner, the true crime series stars Laverne Cox, Katie Lowes and Alexis Floyd as Anna Delvey’s friend group, based on her real-life friends Kacy, Rachel and Neff, respectively. Lowes (Scandal) was one of several frequent Shonda Rhimes players to appear in the Netflix series, which also featured Jeff Perry (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal), Kate Burton (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal) and Joshua Malina (Scandal). 

Inventing Anna is available to stream now with a Netflix subscription. Be sure to check out some of the other best shows on Netflix, as well as what’s coming soon to the streaming service. You can also check out our 2022 TV Schedule to see when new and returning shows are premiering.

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.