Netflix’s Inventing Anna: what you need to know about Shonda Rhimes’ new true crime drama

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It was the story that shocked the world: a fake heiress who fooled everyone. Now, Anna Delvey’s unbelievable story is coming to Netflix, in a true crime series produced by Shonda Rhimes.

Updated on 5 November: It was the story that captivated the world.

The true tale of New York’s ‘fake heiress,’ who famously fooled the world when she claimed to be a German socialite setting up an art foundation, and scamming numerous high-flyers and financial institutions into funding her outrageously lavish style. 

In reality, she was a scammer living on borrowed time and money.

Even after her arrest and rejection of a plea deal, the New York hustler maintained she was “not sorry” and would “probably” do it all over again if given the chance. “I’m not a good person,” she told the New York Times. For now, the 28-year-old remains behind bars.

Who is involved with Netflix’s Inventing Anna?

It wasn’t long after the unbelievable story went viral that the film rights to the New York Magazine story, How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People,” were snapped up by two film producers.

One was legendary producer Shonda Rhimes (of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal fame), who has written the series herself as one of her first projects for Netflix. (The other was Lena Dunham, who will adapt the memoir of Delvey’s friend, Rachel Williams, based on her original Vanity Fair article).

Titled Inventing Anna, the series stars Julia Garner – who we have already seen in Ozark, Dirty John and, more recently, Modern Love – as the Soho scammer. 

Anna Chlumsky of Veep fame is also on-board, in the role of a journalist who formed a love-hate relationship with the magnetic con artist as she investigates her nefarious goings-on. And Laverne Cox – aka Sophia in Orange Is the New Black – is set to play a celebrity trainer who lingers on the periphery of Anna’s murky world.

What is the official synopsis of Netflix’s Inventing Anna?

The synopsis reads: “In Inventing Anna, a journalist with a lot to prove investigates the case of Anna Delvey, the Instagram-legendary German heiress who stole the hearts of New York’s social scene – and stole their money as well. But is Anna New York’s biggest con woman or is she simply the new portrait of the American dream? 

“Anna and the reporter form a dark, funny love-hate bond as Anna awaits trial and our reporter fights the clock to answer the biggest question in NYC: who is Anna Delvey?”

How much did Netflix pay for the rights?

As reported on 1 November 2019: Netflix reportedly arranged to pay Delvey $100,000, as well as $7500 in royalties and $15,000 in consulting fees per episode. She reportedly received an initial payment of $30,000, which went towards paying for her lawyers. However, the remaining fees were seized by the New York Attorney General’s office to determine whether or not they violated the state law that a criminal cannot profit from their crimes, the New York Post reported.

In cases like these the Attorney General can rule that the money due to Delvey could go towards those that are owed. They include City National Bank, who extended a $100,000 line of credit to Delvey, as well as hotels in New York with whom Delvey has outstanding bills.

When will the series be aired?

We still don’t have a date yet, but all signs point to things being underway at least – watch this space.

Is there a trailer for Netflix’s Inventing Anna?

Sadly, not yet. We will update you just as soon as we get our mitts on one, though.

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Jessica Rapana

Jessica Rapana is a journalist based in London, and enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content. She is especially fond of news, health, entertainment and travel content, and drinks coffee like a Gilmore Girl.

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