Why did Rachel DeLoache Williams file a lawsuit against Netflix’s Inventing Anna series?

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While Netflix’s Inventing Anna gained instant cult following and notoriety, Rachel DeLoache Williams, aka Anna’s real-life girlfriend, wasn’t happy. On Monday, August 29, 2022, a former Vanity Fair employee and friend of Anna Sorokin reportedly filed a defamation suit against the streaming behemoth over her portrayal on the show. According to Rachel DeLoache Williams, Netflix gave fictional names to many of the characters in the series, but did not do the same for Rachel DeLoache Williams and her protection. They used her real name and personal information while casting an entertainer who resembled her in many ways.

Rachel DeLoache Williams, a former Vanity Fair photo editor, has published an article about her experience with Anna Sorokin, as well as a book called ‘My Friend Anna’, which is selling the rights to HBO. Netflix’s rendition of the story is based on a May 2018 New York magazine article, and the network paid Anna Sorokin for the rights to her story, The Hollywood Reporter reported.

Who is Rachel DeLoache Williams?

Rachel DeLoache Williams is an American author, photographer and editor. Rachel DeLoache Williams previously worked as a Vanity Fair editor and photo maker and achieved notable quality as the previous boyfriend of Anna Sorokin, a con artist who claimed to be a German heiress and robbed Rachel DeLoache Williams of $62,000. After the scam, she detailed Anna Sorokin to the New York Police Department and the New York County District Attorney, who helped the police find and capture Anna Sorokin in Los Angeles.

In addition, she testified against her at court. Rachel DeLoache Williams later wrote an article about her encounters with Anna Sorokin for Vanity Fair in 2018, and has since written for Time and Air Mail, as well as authored the book My Friend Anna: The True Story of New York City’s Fake Heiress. Rachel DeLoache Williams was also among the real-life individuals portrayed in the real-life show about “fake heiress” Anna Delvey, otherwise known as Anna Sorokin on Netflix’s Inventing Anna.

Why did Rachel sue Netflix’s Inventing Anna series?

Streaming giant Netflix made a conscious choice for dramatic purposes to show Rachel doing or saying things in a series that portrays her as greedy, snobbish, unfaithful, unscrupulous, weak, manipulative and sharp, Rachel’s lawyers wrote in a lawsuit filed in Delaware federal court on Monday. The lawsuit seeks contempt and misleading slight invasion of privacy and seeks actual and anticipated damages, as well as punitive damages, but does not seek a specific amount. In addition, she is seeking a directive that Netflix not make any defamatory statements and the removal of statements from the Inventing Anna series.

The suit cites numerous instances in which she is unfairly portrayed, recalling key scenes for which she absorbs Anna Sorokin and then leaves her in Morocco. She never actually did or said those things, the suit continues. Due to Netflix’s false portrayal of her as a vile and despicable person, Williams was subjected to a barrage of online abuse (and) negative personal interactions. The catastrophic damage to Williams’ status could have been avoided and the Netflix show’s creators could have created an imaginary person to provide the antagonist, Rachel’s lawyers say. The defamatory statements in the series were made by Netflix with actual malice, characterized as false information or with insane carelessness as to truth or deception, the lawsuit alleges.

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