The Netflix series "Inventing Anna" was based on the true story of Anna Sorokin aka Anna Delvey, but Shonda Rhimes took some liberties with her story telling. She makes sure to let everyone know that with a clear warning at the beginning stating “This whole story is completely true, except for all the parts that are totally made up."
The entire story is based on a New York Magazine exposé “Maybe She Had So Much Money She Just Lost Track of It: How an Aspiring 'It' Girl Tricked New York's Party People — and its Banks” by journalist Jessica Pressler.
Here are some of the real and fake parts of "Inventing Anna."
Were Val and Nora Radford her friends in real life? Nope. That part was totally made up. Even her boyfriend, who was very prevalent in the series, was hardly a part of her real life story.
Did Jessica Pressler (the journalist the show is based on, named Vivian Kent in the series) convince Anna to go to trial instead of taking a deal? Never happened. Anna knew she wanted to go to trial from the start.
Did Jessica Pressler (Vivian Kent) have a tarnished reputation as a journalist due to a lie from a previous article she wrote? Yes, that really happened. BUT by the time she wrote about Anna, that was no longer an issue.
Was the real Anna sorry for her actions? She did express remorse for her crimes in real life.
Was she really in a hotel handing out 100-dollar bills? Yep! That happened, but it was a different name used for the hotel in the series than in real life (obviously).
Did Jessica Pressler (Vivian Kent) really go to Germany to find Anna's father? You bet she did! The only difference is that Anna had planned the entire trip.
Were her parents really so mad at her that they disowned her? Her parents weren't at her trial, but they did very much still support her.
Was Anna's criminal trial truly that much of a show and did she do all the things they showed her doing in the series? The real Anna did very much refuse to wear the clothes given to her for her trial. It happened multiple times and she did hire a celebrity stylist to style her for the full trial. There was also an Instagram dedicated to what she wore that was very popular! There were also days the clothes didn't get to her in time because to get to the trial she had to leave Rikers at 4 am and would come back at 10 pm, which was outside visiting hours.
The full series is available to stream on Netflix.