Rachel DeLoache Williams was a friend of fake heiress Anna Delvey, whose real name is Anna Sorokin. Williams was conned out of her money by the woman she thought was her friend, Williams said in testimony at Sorokin’s trial.
Williams was duped out of $62,000 on a trip she took with Sorokin to Morocco, she said in her testimony, according to Insider. Sorokin had said she would pay for the trip, she testified. Sorokin was convicted on eight counts, but she was found not guilty of bilking Williams out of money for the trip, according to ABC News.
The story is gaining popularity after Netflix released its 2022 miniseries, “Inventing Anna” on February 11, 2022.
ABC 20/20 also dug into the case in an episode, “The Sinfluencer of Soho,” which aired Friday, October 1, 2021, at 9 p.m. Eastern time.
Here’s what you need to know:
Williams Reflected on Her Relationship With Sorokin & the Debt She Was Left to Repay
Williams, who was a picture researcher for Vanity Fair, told ABC News that Sorokin left her with more debt than she made in a year – $62,000. She told Harper’s Bazaar that she decided to make a report to police when Sorokin promised to pay her back for a trip to Morocco, but never paid the debt.
Williams reflected in her Harper’s Bazaar interview about why the story is so fascinating to the public.
“Anna is a fascinating character for better for worse, especially as a young woman,” Williams told Harper’s Bazaar. “She took on traditionally male dominated power structures when it came to financial scamming. People are interested in that. The story is timely because people are so interested in social media now and its positive and negative impact on society and the way in which it encourages people to want to build themselves as an internet celebrity.”
Williams told ABC News she is often asked about red flags she noticed with Sorokin, and answered the same question for Harper’s Bazaar.
“It’s much easier in hindsight,” she told Harper’s Bazaar. “A lot of small things added up, like going out where she would forget her credit card or me having to book flights on the day we were leaving for Marrakesh, but they made sense within the context or her normal behaviour, so I was able to rationalise those things. If you look at them in isolation, they seem to be clear warning signs.”
Williams Wrote a Book & Earned Money for HBO Max Series ‘Generation Hustle’
Williams was able to receive money from her experiences, Insider reported. She landed a book deal for her story, which was published in 2019: My Friend Anna: The True Story of a Fake Heiress. At the time of her testimony against Sorokin, Insider reported Williams was being paid $300,000 for the book. At that time in 2019, she had received $63,000 of a $75,000 advance, she testified.
“I wanted to find a home for this project. Yes, money was a factor,” Williams said in her testimony, according to Insider. “I worked very hard to get where I am today.”
Williams was also paid $35,000 for adaptation rights in an HBO deal, according to Insider. The news outlet reported at the time she could receive an additional $300,000, but they were still in negotiations then. The project became a 10-part HBO Max series, “Generation Hustle,” according to ET Online.
Insider reported that Williams would also be required to pay her agents from the earnings, including 10% for the HBO deal and 15% for the book deal, in addition to other fees and taxes.
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