Inside The Tense Relationship Anna Sorokin Of Inventing Anna Has With Her Parents

The dramatized series "Inventing Anna," now streaming on Netflix, tells the story of Anna Sorokin, who — under the name Anna Delvey — posed as a multi-millionaire European heiress to fake her way into New York high society in the mid-2010s. Sorokin's lies caught up to her, and she served three-and-a-half years of her sentence for fraud (it could have lasted as long as 12 years). Sorokin, a Russian by-way-of German immigrant who is in the U.S. after an internship at the French fashion publication "Purple Magazine," is now back in custody for violating her visa. Sorokin/Delvey may soon be deported, according to Insider.

The story of Anna Sorokin story raises questions about her family and what her upbringing was like back in Germany. Exploring Sorokin's background reveals she was not the first member of her family to reinvent themselves in a new country. And now that Sorokin's frauds have been revealed, her family is now offering her a chance at redemption.

The Sorokin family are Russian immigrants living in Germany

Just like Anna, her father, Vadim Sorokin, moved his family from Russia to Germany for a new start. Also like Anna, Vadim contended with rumors about himself once he arrived in his new home. Unlike his daughter, rumors that Vadim had ties to the Russian mob were untrue, according to Insider. Once in Germany, Vadim ran his own business in ventilation and air conditioning. Early on, his daughter, who had just one brother, dreamed of escaping small-town life in Eschweiler to work in high fashion.

Anna otherwise had a typical childhood full of school events and a strong social circle, her father reports (via Daily Mail). Nonetheless, she began to act out as a teen, and when she got caught lying in New York, it was just another incident on a long list of ways she had disgraced her family. "I would definitely agree that my parents did not really know what to do with me," Anna said (via Insider). As soon as she finished school, Anna followed through on her plans and left Eschweiler — first to London for college and then to Paris.

The Sorokin family lost touch with Anna in France

After dropping out of Central Saint Martins art college in London, Anna Sorokin moved to France after a brief stint working in public relations in Berlin. She was in Paris to intern at Purple Magazine. Anna was unable to support herself in Paris on her salary at Purple's lowest rung, and as a result, her father continued to pay her way. Nevertheless, Anna Sorokin's family lost track of their mercurial daughter and became uninvolved in her day-to-day life.

Sometimes, Anna's family was even unaware of what country their daughter was in, whether that be France, Germany, or even the United States. Recalling this time, Anna later said (via Insider). "We just have different interests." Of the money Vadim Sorokin gave his daughter, Vadim later said (via the Daily Mail), "Anna's always had expensive tastes, but I don't know where she gets it from." Once her internship ended at Purple, Anna headed to New York to fast-track her career in high fashion. 

Once in New York, Anna dropped her family surname

Once Anna Sorokin arrived in New York, she did more than just start a new life — she changed her last name to Delvey, claiming at first that Delvey was her mother's maiden name but later admitting she just made it up, according to A&E TV. As Anna Delvey, among other crimes, she bilked millions of dollars from a number of financial institutions for the fictional Anna Delvey Foundation. She also falsely claimed to be the daughter of an oil tycoon and an heiress to a $60-million trust fund back home.

This behavior even earned Sorokin/Delvey the nickname "Soho Grifter." Soon enough, Delvey's lies began to unwind as she moved among New York's elite in architecture, the art world, fashion, and media. It was all paid for on credit or through fraud, and eventually, she was arrested for thousands of dollars in unpaid hotel bills, among other debts, per the New York Post. With no money, Delvey even managed to travel by private jet. Her father Vadim later said (via the Daily Mail), "She wanted to live like Paris Hilton, but we weren't able to give that to her."

Her parents were not at her criminal trial

Once arrested and put on trial for fraud and theft of services, among other crimes, Vadim Sorokin — seeming to speak for his family — criticized Anna's behavior at first, calling her selfish. He also claimed to have had little to do with her life once she came to America (via Insider). Charged with second-degree grand larceny, theft of services, and first-degree attempted grand larceny, her father nonetheless reached out to the judge seeking leniency on her behalf. "Our daughter is young; she took a series of incorrect decisions to accomplish her goals, but Anna is not a person who should be behind bars," her family wrote (via Insider). 

Acquitted of the most serious charges, Delvey was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison. Due in part to her family's urging, she was released after less than four years in prison. Her legal troubles were far from over, though. Once freed, Anna was quickly arrested for violating her visa. She's currently being held at an Orange County, New York jail and may soon be deported.

Vadim Sorokin still sends Anna money

Despite her strained relationship with her family, Vadim Sorokin continues to support his daughter, working with U.S. immigration officials to send her home. In 2020, Anna's father wrote she would be welcome at the family business and could also help care for her aging grandmother. The Sorokin family wrote that back in Germany, Anna would have the chance to reintegrate into normal life. "We will support her," the letter to the immigration official from the Sorokin family read (via Insider).

Despite this kind gesture, Anna responded (via the Daily Mail), "I'd rather be in jail than live with my parents." Nevertheless, Vadim continues to give her money while she is held in detention. He also claims Anna Sorokin/Delvey continues to manipulate people while in prison. "She has an ability to wrap people around her little finger," he said (per Daily Mail). "I've sent her thousands of dollars in the past. At the moment, because she is in detention, the amounts are small ... but even in there, she hasn't learned how to control her finances."