Anna Sorokin's trial begins in New York: the woman who became known as Anna Delvi, for many months successfully passed herself off as a wealthy German heiress. Thanks to this, she was able to intermarry with the New York art bohemians and lead a luxurious lifestyle, not supported by anything but personal charm, fake screenshots of bank accounts and checks that she could not pay.
By the time she was exposed and arrested, Delvi was able to collect debts totaling $ 275,000 - this money in the form of loans and services she received from banks, five-star hotels, charter airlines and private individuals. Among the latter was Vanity Fair photo editor Rachel Deloach Williams, who, after spending a vacation with Anna in Marrakech, had to pay a very small bill out of her own pocket. “She came into my life in Gucci sandals and Celine glasses and showed me the glossy world of hotel life, dining at Le Coucou (French restaurant in New York. - Approx. ed.), infrared saunas and vacations in Morocco. And then she made my $ 62,000 evaporate,”Williams wrote in an article detailing her relationship with Delvey. She so reliably played the role of the eccentric, ambitious and somewhat frivolous in financial matters daughter of an oil tycoon (or a diplomat, or a family whose business is related to the development of solar panels - this part of the legend was not distinguished by integrity) that even after the incident in Marrakech, the photo editor did not immediately suspected her of a fraud.
Shonda Rhimes (Grey's Anatomy, Scandal) has already tackled the adaptation of Anna Delvey's story for Netflix; in addition, Lena Dunham expressed an interest in the adventures described in Vanity Fair. However, both are clearly in a hurry, since the trial of Sorokin promises to be no less colorful.
It is known that Anna Sorokin was born in the USSR, lived in Russia until the age of sixteen, after which she moved with her family to Germany, where her father, contrary to her subsequent stories, worked as a truck driver. For some time, Sorokin interned at a German PR agency, then got a job as an intern at the Parisian fashion and art magazine Purple. Around this time, she adopted the pseudonym Anna Delvey, but a character named Anna Delvey, a philanthropist passionate about modern art, who was supposed to inherit the trust fund as soon as she was twenty-five years old, appeared after her move to New York.
If branded apparel and accessories weren't enough, Delvi showed off a spectacular 80-page brochure for a future self-titled art foundation.
“I have no money and no credit cards. I am expecting my aunt from Germany. She will pay for everything. I'm not trying to escape. Why make such a fuss? Give me five minutes, and I will find a friend who will pay for me,”Sorokin persuaded the police officer in July 2017, when she once again had problems paying her hotel bill. Until a certain moment, this was exactly what happened: next to her, there was almost always one of her acquaintances who could pay for her and who had no doubts that Anna Delvi would return the debt to them - after all, before that she herself treated them with oysters and champagne Dom Pérignon, easily writing checks for large sums. And if branded clothing and accessories, as well as an Instagram account with tens of thousands of subscribers were not enough, Delvi presented a spectacular 80-page brochure of the future art fund named after herself.
About the foundation and another idea of hers - an “art center dedicated to contemporary art,” for the opening of which she intended to rent the historic Church Mission House in Manhattan, Delvey always spoke with enthusiasm. Perhaps this is the only true part of her legend.Perhaps she really tried to become who she presented herself. To potential investors, she presented herself as a wealthy art collector from Cologne, and as a guarantee she presented a screenshot of the bank balance, which reflected an impressive amount - twenty million dollars. After several refusals, she still managed to get a deposit of one hundred thousand dollars from one of the banks. According to investigators, Delvi spent more than half of this money on personal expenses in just a month, but they were not enough for the private jet she rented in May 2017 - this bill, like many others, remained unpaid.
“She isolated herself, and I felt fortunate enough to be one of the few people she liked and trusted,” writes Rachel Deloach Williams. - I already had experience, both personal and professional, getting to know the lifestyle and quirks of people with money, even if I myself did not have a trust fund. Her world was not alien to me - I was comfortable in it - and I liked that she accepted me as a person who “understands everything”. This partly explains why its creditors were not immediately interested in Delvi's true solvency. However, the holiday at someone else's expense could not last forever. In October 2017, Anna Sorokin was arrested.
It turned out that the obsession with luxury and status is nowhere
did not disappear even in times, when any legend can be checked with a couple of clicks
Perhaps the most striking thing is that, even after being exposed, Sorokin continues to play the character she created. At one of the first court sessions, her lawyer Spodek insisted that his client be allowed to change into a more luxurious outfit, which clearly infuriated the leading judge. Later, he even hired stylist Anastacia Walker, who worked with celebrities like Courtney Love and T-Pain, to dress Sorokin at every meeting. According to him, it is absolutely necessary: "Anna's style was the driving force behind her business and her life, it is part of who she is."
Spodek does not hide his strategy of defense. Its goal is to show that Sorokin did not do anything that other representatives of art bohemians and celebrities in general did not do. “Each of us has a little Anna. Each of us lies a little bit,”the lawyer said. An invented personality? But after all, in the era of instagram, everyone creates one or another media image for themselves. "Pretend until they believe you"? But other keys to high society have not yet been invented. Fraudulent loans? To this Spodek presents a brochure from the Anna Delvi Foundation, calling the document a well-developed business plan.
It seems almost unbelievable that a well-chosen outfit still wins trust, and the tales of a wealthy heiress who has to receive a money order from day to day can open many, many doors. But the story of Anna Delvi proves that the obsession with luxury and status, which has been enjoyed by scammers for many centuries, has not disappeared anywhere, even at a time when any legend seems to be verified with a couple of clicks.
PHOTOS: Richard Drew / TASS