The popular saying that could sum up the media story of Anna Sorokin, better known by her pen name Anna Delphi, says that the important thing is not to be, but to appear.
The Russian immigrant, now 31, impersonated a wealthy German heiress in New York’s high society and managed to defraud banks, hotels, and acquaintances.
Her social networks were frequently updated with the daily life of her luxurious fantasy, until she was arrested on October 3, 2017 in Los Angeles.
The story became world famous thanks to “Inventing Anna”, the Netflix series based on her case in which Sorokin collaborated herself as a paid consultant.
The success of the series not only brought him financial benefits, but also gave him more opportunities in the world of entertainment.
The irony is that this happened during Sorokin’s deprivation of his freedom and the uncertainty about his future in the United States.
What happened to his case and what did he say from prison?
process legal continuous
A year after his arrest, in late 2018, Sorokin appeared in a New York court and pleaded not guilty.
He said that going to trial was the only way he had to tell his side of the story.
In March 2019, a month-long trial against him began, during which Sorokin was able to obtain different clothes for his public appearance. As he explained, he did so because his clothes were the only thing he could control in telling his case.
Pictures of their clothes during the trial spread widely on social media.
In April 2019, a jury found her guilty of service theft and grand theft for defrauding banks and luxury hotels of more than $200,000 USD.
She was mistreated for trying to defraud her then-girlfriend Rachel Delauch Williams, who ended up in debt of nearly US$62,000, after they and two other people traveled to Morocco and stayed at a luxury resort.
Sorokin’s sentence, for eight of the 10 counts against him, was a minimum of four years and a maximum of 12 years in federal prison.
Almost two years later and thanks to his good behavior, Sorokin was released in February 2021 and immediately returned to social media.
But just six weeks later, in March 2021, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained her for overstaying her visa.
A year has passed since then and Sorokin is still being held in a New Jersey prison awaiting a decision on possible deportation to Germany, the country of her origin and citizenship.
Sorokin said she hopes to stay in America because for her Germany is worse than prison.
From prison to entertainment
Since her story became known through an article by journalist Jessica Pressler, published in New York magazine, Anna Sorokin has appeared in various media, including the English-language BBC.
During her first few interviews, Sorokin was self-confident and playful, saying that she knew she was Anna Delphi and didn’t feel guilty about her actions.
I also realize that Netflix paid $320,000 For the rights of his story, he used that money to pay damages and legal expenses, as required by law, but in the end his life continues in prison no matter how much he paid.
On the other hand, his critics point out that he used the entire legal process to gain more fame, which is why he wanted a media trial and that he made an effort to appear in the midst of the public.
As for the Netflix series, its blurring and the fine line between fantasy and reality have been called into question.
Some critics argue that by prioritizing a soap opera aesthetic that generates plots, it ends up exaggerating facts and characters to the point of leaving viewers with serious doubts about what actually happened.
Also, Delphi’s character has been said to fall short and not explain why he is able to deceive so many people.
In a recent interview with The New York Times, Sorokin said he had a lot to share about his story. He expected to make a documentary, write a book and work on a podcast about his time in prison.
He also made clear that his first public statements were under pressure, but that he did not want to encourage others to commit financial crimes, and that if he could go back, he would have acted differently.
She says that more than glorifying herself, she is focused on making the most of her experience.
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