If you've been on Netflix recently, then chances are you've come across Inventing Anna, the new limited series which is currently #1 in the US.
Executive produced and written by Shonda Rhimes and her Shondaland team, Inventing Anna tells the true story of Anna "Delvey" Sorokin, the Instagram-legendary "German heiress" who stole the hearts of New York's social scene while she also stole their money. The series follows Anna and the journalist who is investigating her after she is arrested.
Since Jessica's article was published, it was practically tailor-made for a TV or movie adaptation — even Julia Garner thought so way back in 2018. She told BuzzFeed, "I kind of had a feeling when I read the article that they would make a project out of it. The story was just too good."
So, it's no surprise that Netflix put down a lot of money to make sure they got the rights to Anna's story in order for Shonda Rhimes and her team to create Inventing Anna.
According to Insider, Netflix paid Anna Sorokin "$320,000 for the rights to adapt her life story into a TV series," with the money being split up to pay off various fines and fees.
Insider's report claims that Anna used "$199,000 of the money to pay restitution to the banks" and then another $24,000 was used to settle state fines she had.
In addition to the $223,000 Anna used to pay restitution and fines, Insider states she also "paid $75,000 in attorney fees and will owe more once legal proceedings in her case have concluded."
In 2019, New York froze Anna's funds, citing the "Son of Sam" law, which was passed in 1977 and is designed to prevent criminals from profiting from their crimes. The law was put into place after serial killer David Berkowitz, aka Son of Sam, was offered money for a tell-all book. So, in Anna's case, the Office of Victim Services "exercised its right to confiscate [Anna's] money [from Netflix]" in 2020.
However, according to Insider, since Anna was using the funds to pay off her victims, an Albany County judge recently ordered New York's Office of Victim Services to unfreeze Anna's bank account and "allow her to use the funds she has left ahead of her expected release from prison."
On top of the fees Anna used the Netflix money to pay for, she also agreed to pay $70,000 in restitution she still owed to Citibank, one of the many financial institutions she stole from, and according to the Wall Street Journal, Anna had already paid the $100,000 she owed to City National Bank.
Basically, when all is said and done, Anna will have very little money left over from Netflix's payout for the rights to her story for Inventing Anna.
Also, Anna wasn't the only one who was paid for her side of the story. In 2019, Insider reported that former Vanity Fair writer Rachel Williams, who is played by Katie Lowes in Inventing Anna, was paid $300,000 by Simon & Schuster for her book My Friend Anna.
Then, Rachel was paid $35,000 by HBO to option her book into a project by Lena Dunham. However, according to Rachel's personal website, the option has since expired "and the project is not currently in development."
After Inventing Anna dropped on Netflix, Rachel criticized the streamer for paying Anna Sorokin. She told Vanity Fair, "I think promoting this whole narrative and celebrating a sociopathic, narcissistic, proven criminal is wrong."
Rachel also went on to say that Shonda Rhimes and Netflix were basically conned into believing that Anna was "a special and even inspiring person."
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