The phenomenon of Anna Delvey, who pretended to be a German heiress—living the high life by going to the right parties, camping out in boutique NYC hotels and taking lavish trips around the world—until she was arrested and charged with numerous counts of grand larceny, has captivated New Yorkers who enjoy a very good grifter story. And now they'll have a Netflix series to binge, courtesy of mega-producer Shonda Rhimes. That was fast.
honestly this news cycle will not be complete until scott pruitt marries anna delvey
— Ariel Edwards-Levy (@aedwardslevy) June 7, 2018
Delvey was arrested last year, after allegedly scamming banks, investors, and a friend out of nearly $275,000. Her story was profiled in two different stories this spring: First, there was a first-person account, by Vanity Fair photo editor Rachel Deloache Williams—the friend who was scammed out of $62,000 during a trip to Morocco—who detailed how she was duped by Delvey. Then, Jessica Pressler offered a wide-spanning feature of Delvey's NYC life, and some of the people who knew her, for New York magazine—this included others who lent Delvey money and weren't paid back.
Rhimes' production company Shondaland optioned the New York story, and Variety reports that Rhimes, who created Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, and How To Get Away With Murder (all series with complicated female leads), will be writing the series.
Variety also noted that the Vanity Fair article "has attracted interest, with stars like Jennifer Lawrence and Margot Robbie reportedly expressing interest in the lead role. One insider close to the situation has said the process has been difficult and that Delvey has been making calls to various talent and producers regarding whom she would like to play her." (Vulture has its own list of casting suggestions.)
"Only in America," Anna Delvey just told me over the phone from Rikers, re the reaction to this article https://t.co/BJDbaSq2x9
— Jessica Pressler (@jpressler) June 7, 2018
Most recently, Delvey (who is at Rikers) was in court last week for a hearing related to her case; according to The Cut, her defense lawyer Todd Spodek "said a plea deal of one to three years should suffice for Sorokin. The case had many “mitigating factors,” which he will argue later this month, after lawyers from both sides figure out whether a plea deal is possible. Should they fail, Sorokin’s trial will start 'sometime this summer,' according to presiding Judge Diane Kiesel."
For further reading, Amanda Mull looked at how Delvey's hair, as well as that of Theranos scammer Elizabeth Holmes, may have been a tip-off, while Jia Tolentino grappled with grifters we like and those we don't.
Deeply appreciative of the seven (7) people who texted or DM’d me when the news of the Anna Delvey Netflix series broke tonight to make sure I knew while I was not online
— Amanda Mull (@amandamull) June 9, 2018