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Rachel Williams (Katie Lowes) and Anna Delvey (Julia Garner)
Rachel Williams (Katie Lowes) and Anna Delvey (Julia Garner) in Inventing AnnaCourtesy of Netflix

Anna Delvey’s former friend sues over ‘horrible’ Inventing Anna portrayal

Rachel DeLoache Williams, who lost $62k to the socialite scammer, is suing Netflix for defamation and invasion of privacy

Rachel DeLoache Williams, the former friend of Anna Delvey (born Sorokin), is suing Netflix for the depiction of her character in Inventing Anna, the series that charted the rise and fall of the socialite scammer earlier this year. 

In case you’ve forgotten who Williams is exactly (excusable, since Delvey seemed to string along half of Manhattan’s social elite), here’s a quick refresher: ex-Vanity Fair photo editor Rachel DeLoache Williams formed a close friendship with the fake heiress in 2017, which mostly revolved around pricy activities in NYC. This friendship would unravel, however, when Delvey’s credit cards mysteriously stopped working on an ill-fated trip to Marrakech, leaving Williams to cover for their expenses, which plunged her into debt that exceeded her yearly salary.

In Inventing Anna, Williams’ character was played by Katie Lowes, starring across from Julia Garner as Delvey. According to court documents filed August 29, however, Williams wasn’t impressed by the way she was portrayed. E! News, which obtained the documents, reports that she is suing Netflix for false light invasion of privacy and defamation.

More specifically, the complaint alleges that Williams is depicted as “a greedy, snobbish, disloyal, dishonest, cowardly, manipulative and opportunistic person” in the Shonda Rhimes series, and pushes back against the idea that she was “sponging off” Delvey by accepting gifts and letting her pay for all of their “drinks, meals, manicures and saunas”.

Williams also denies that she abandoned Delvey when she was “alone and in trouble” in Morocco, or lied to friends by concealing her involvement in the arrest, as shown in the series. “In reality, she never did or said those things,” claims the lawsuit. “Thus, this action is based firmly on statements of fact which are demonstrably false and the attribution of statements that she never made.” 

Following the viral success of Inventing Anna – which often saw fans celebrating Delvey, as a foil to the rich New Yorkers she scammed – Williams also apparently received “thousands of abusive messages” on social media.

“The reason why we had to file the case is because Netflix used Rachel’s real name and biographical details, and made her out to be a horrible person, which she is not,” explains Williams’ attorney, Alexander Rufus-Isaacs.

Back in 2019, Williams spoke to Dazed about the various takes on Delvey’s story, while promoting her book My Friend Anna: The True Story of Anna Delvey, the Fake Heiress of New York CityThere’s this desire, in hindsight, to look at the story and project a saturated version of it,” she said, “which is a discredit to the reality of events.” Revisit the full interview here.