‘Inventing Anna’ subject sues Netflix for defamation

Rachel Williams called her portrayal "disloyal, dishonest, cowardly, manipulative and opportunistic"

Inventing Anna subject Rachel Williams is suing Netflix for defamation over her portrayal in the series.

The former Vanity Fair photo editor took offence over the way she was framed in the series in connection to con artist Anna Sorokin, and filed a defamation lawsuit against Netflix on Monday (August 29).

Williams is portrayed by Katie Lowes in the series, and the character at first accepts expensive gifts and holidays from Sorokin but eventually gives her up to the authorities.


The real-life woman claims that her character in the show is fabricated, and the lawsuit filed in Delaware federal court, obtained by Deadline Hollywood, alleges it paints Williams in a negative light while using her real first and last name, as well as employment and school history.

“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,” the lawsuit reads.

Addressing one scene in particular which appears to show Williams abandoning Sorokin in Morroco, Williams claims she had told Sorokin she had to leave early for work.

Inventing Anna
Julia Garner in ‘Inventing Anna’. CREDIT: Netflix

The lawsuit continues: “Williams did not stop being friends with Sorokin because Sorokin was having problems in Morocco, but rather because she subsequently discovered on her return to New York that Sorokin was a liar and a con artist whose statements and promises had induced Williams to incur liabilities of around $62,000 on Sorokin’s behalf were false, and who only reimbursed her $5,000 despite numerous promises to reimburse her $70,000 to account for the full debt and any late fees incurred.”

Netflix has not commented on the case. This story will be updated accordingly.