The crook who captivates New York

This is one of those cases where the character devours the person. Anna Delvey refuses to be Anna Sorokin.

At the reception of the 11 Howard hotel –“informal and innovative luxury”–, in the Soho district, in the south of Manhattan, an employee makes a welcoming and at the same time explicit gesture, “another who comes to ask”.

That’s right, that’s the question, who is she? “I didn’t work here at the time and I didn’t know her,” he replies quickly, quickly.

The receptionist explains that many are curious about this world famous guest. Especially since in February, Netflix created a mini-series of nine chapters ( Invent Anna played by Julia Garner) about her tribulations, the scam of New York high society and the ensuing prison hardships with which she paid and is still paying for her dream of being rich and touching the earthly glory of the elite

A phrase from Heinrich Heine, the last poet of romanticism, defines his existential philosophy: “We dance in the volcano, but we dance”.

As we write these lines, Sorokin (born in Russia) or Delvey (his own creation in the Big Apple), are facing the countdown to their expulsion from the United States. He resists, he sees his “defeat”, but the decision seems imminent, waiting for a stroke of luck. In truth, last Monday, the news spread that immigration agents (ICE) had transferred her to the airport in Newark (New Jersey) to send her to Frankfurt. His parents live in Germany.

TV Days. Actress Julia Garner plays Anna Delvey, the character Sorokin created for himself, in the Netflix series ‘Inventing Anna’; the platform paid $320,000


It is said that a journalist from picture ticket has been purchased. Delvey and his guards never got on the plane. There was some dismay. An ICE spokesperson settled the case confirming that he “remains in ICE custody, pending deportation.”

And, despite his crimes and his illegal stay, Delvey, 31, is already an icon of the new era instagramer or tiktoker in the city of skyscrapers.

Howard stayed at 11 for a few weeks starting in February 2017, at $400 a night and $100 tip, until she was kicked out for non-payment of a few tens of thousands. “They want me to explain how it was, what I did, what the treatment was like,” says the receptionist.

“And what does he answer?”

– Well, that I wasn’t.

One last curiosity, when are they interested in her, are they talking about Anna Sorokin or Anna Delvey? “Certainly, Delvey? “, she underlines.

While waiting for his expulsion, he participated this week by telephone in the opening of an exhibition

“It was a random choice,” he said of his reinvention as Delvey in the interview with Alexandra Cooper published this week on his podcast. call her daddy , one of the most popular in the United States with 2.3 million followers. “I have no attachment to any country or family name, it’s not how I see myself or define myself,” Delvey insisted from the locker room at Orange County Jail in Goshen ( New York State).

During that lengthy videoconference — she appears in the yellow prison jumpsuit and Céline eyeglasses that identify her — she expressed her wish to be quoted as Delvey.

Have you legally changed your surname?

– No, they only let me spend six weeks out of prison.

Born near Moscow, her family moved to Germany when she was just 16 years old. His exposure to MTV lent his passion to a high-flying lifestyle. “I wanted to do something fashion-related,” he recalls. She describes herself as “allergic to authority” since she was a child and denies having been obsessed with wealth. “I just wanted the freedom that money means to me.”

After a stopover in London and Paris, he landed in New York in 2014 where he forged a personality with which he convinced the most select financial establishment in Manhattan to finance a megalomaniac foundation project (failed) and his life in the hotels and restaurants in Pompadour and his travels. She was arrested in October 2017.

It all started as a curious event, the arrest of a “high society wannabe”, but one more. In 2018, an article by Jessica Pressler in new york magazine which revealed all his adventures and relationships, went viral and turned the story upside down.

His lawsuit made it a catwalk thanks to the spread of his dresses on Instagram, for which he had a wardrobe manager. The jury found her guilty. She was sentenced in 2019 for various offenses of theft and robbery to a sentence of four to twelve years in prison. He was granted parole after serving just over three years in prison in February 2021.

He had taken $320,000 from Netflix. Although at least 198,000 went to the compensation fund for the victims of his scams, he still had some capital left. He returned to lavish on the nets while drinking rosé, his favorite sparkling wine. “Crime pays,” he told the BBC. Barely six weeks later, immigration officials, the migrates she was arrested for staying in the country without a visa.

He denies that in his criminal adventures he presented himself as a rich heiress – “it’s ridiculous” – although he magnified his father, a transporter, and used a false fund of 60 million to deceive the financial. “This money is little in a city where there are so many fortunes,” he remarks. But he accepts that “it’s easier to ask for 20 million when it’s assumed that you are rich”. His lies “made no sense”, except those of the banks. And she emphasizes: “I am not a scammer”.

This Thursday, he participated by telephone in the opening of an exhibition in room 176 Delancey, which exhibits five of his vignettes. Between cries of “freedom for Anna Delvey”, he thanked. “My first wish for 2022 is to get out of prison,” he heard in the uproar.

“I saw these drawings that he posted on the internet and I called myself a crook ( with the artist ) become an artist”, emphasizes Julia Morrison, co-organizer of the exhibition. “It is possible – he adds – that you do not always agree with what others do, but she has not harmed any human being and there are many rapists there who didn’t even spend a day in prison”.

In this environment, Anna Sorokin-Delvey is considered as Henry James wrote in portrait of a lady “I call on rich people who are able to meet the demands of their imagination.”

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