One of the villains of the new Netflix limited series “inventing Anna” has announced that they are going after the company with a defamation lawsuit.
Rachel Williams, a former photo editor for Vanity Fair, is apparently quite upset with just how she was portrayed by producer Shonda Rhimes in the documentary that explored the lies of real-life con artist Anna “Delvey” Sorokin. In the film, Williams is portrayed as just a money-hunting social climber. However, the real-life person states that the portrayal has resulted in a not insignificant level of fallout in her life in the wake of the airing of the series.
“This action will show that Netflix made a deliberate decision for dramatic purposes to show Williams doing or saying things in the Series which portray her as a greedy, snobbish, disloyal, dishonest, cowardly, manipulative and opportunistic person,” stated a complaint officially filed on Monday in a federal court in Delaware, reported Deadline.
“The Defamatory Statements are defamatory because they tend to expose her to public contempt, ridicule, aversion or disgrace, or to induce an evil opinion of her, and they are defamatory per se because their import is apparent from the face of the Series without resort to any other source,” it went on.
The lawsuit calls for an unspecified level of damages and a jury trial. Williams is also calling to have the alleged defamatory scenes of the documentary edited out of “Inventing Anna” entirely. The limited series was first made public on Netflix back in February, explained the publication.
“The magnitude of the harm to Williams caused by the Netflix’s defamation has been extraordinary by any plausible measure,” reads the suit.
“The Series has been viewed by millions of people around the world, and as a result of Netflix’s false portrayal of her as a despicable person, she has been subjected to a torrent of online abuse which have caused her personal humiliation, distress, and anguish, as well as damages to her earnings and/or potential earnings.”
34-year-old Williams spoke out about her personal experiences with Sorokin, aged 31, back in 2018 via an article for her former employer Vanity Fair. The German heiress who ended up being an obsession all over the country in the wake of the debut of “Inventing Anna” where she allegedly conned Williams for a $62,000 trip to Morocco that was paid for via a corporate credit card.
She later went on to write a book titled “My Friend Anna: The True Story of a Fake Heiress,” which went public in 2019. Williams made a separate deal for her story with HBO, which was slated to be produced by Lena Dunham, but the rights to such a thing have long expired.
Reportedly, Williams made roughly $340,000 before taxes for the full rights to her story, as reported by Deadline.
“The reason why we have had to file this lawsuit is because Netflix used Rachel’s real name and biographical details, and made her out to be a horrible person, which she is not,” explained attorney Alexander Rufus-Isaacs to the outlet.
“The devastating damage to her reputation could have been avoided if only Netflix had used a fictitious name and different details. Why didn’t they do this for her, when they did for so many other characters in the Series? Perhaps the reason was that she had chosen to play for the other team, i.e., HBO.”