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‘Inventing Anna’ spawns defamation suit

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L-R – Katie Lowes as Rachel Williams, Julia Garner as Anna Sorokin — Netflix

The buzzy, based-on-real-life Netflix series Inventing Anna has spawned some real-life drama in the form of a defamation suit.

The series centered on Anna “Delvey” Sorokin, who was eventually convicted for fleecing people while she lived the high life, posing as a European heiress. The series was based on a Vanity Fair article about Sorokin and those she left in her wake, including VF photo editor Rachel Williams.

According to the New York Post, Williams, who was defrauded by Sorokin to the tune of $62,000, has made good on a threat to sue over the show.

According to the lawsuit, “… Netflix made a deliberate decision for dramatic purposes to show Williams doing or saying things in the Series which portray her as a greedy, snobbish, disloyal, dishonest, cowardly, manipulative and opportunistic person.”

Making matters worse, Williams’ side argues, the producers used her real name in the series, opening her up to online and other backlash.

Williams had gone public with criticism that the Shonda Rhimes-produced series went too easy on Sorokin; her defamation suit, filed Monday in a Delaware court, points out 16 defamatory statements made about her, according to Alexander Rufus-Isaacs, Williams’ attorney.

He claims his client suffered backlash from the series, which at various points depicted her as the villain and Sorokin the victim.

“If you want to base a character on a real person, and you want to make them a baddie, don’t use their real name,” Rufus-Isaacs has said in an interview. “If they want to make an unpleasant character, they can’t use a real person’s name unless everything they say is absolutely gospel.”

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