‘Inventing Anna’: Julia Garner’s Portrayal Is Very Different Than the Real Anna Delvey, Lawyer Reveals [Exclusive]

Julia Garner may have earned an Emmy nomination for her portrayal of fake German heiress Anna Delvey in Netflix‘s Inventing Anna, but Delvey’s attorney Duncan Levin says the woman he’s gotten to know is very different than Garner’s version.

Garner played Delvey with more of an edge, Levin told Showbiz Cheat Sheet. Some of the lines from Inventing Anna solidified Delvey’s character as a colder person, asking reporter Vivian Kent if she hurt her “sweet baby feelings” at one point in the series.

Inventing Anna followed the true story of how Delvey ripped off megabanks and wealthy individuals to build an art and social club. She lived in five-star hotels but was unable to pay her bills – or the hotel tab. Delvey was ultimately arrested. She served her time and was released. Until she was picked up by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) for overstaying her visa.

‘Inventing Anna’ actor may earn an Emmy but is very different from the real Anna Delvey

Levin is currently representing Delvey (whose real name is Anna Sorokin) and said Delvey doesn’t have that hardened edge he saw portrayed in the series.

“She has a lightness and an airiness to her that is sometimes surprising given the fact that she is sitting in a jail cell,” he remarked. “That part of her she’s extremely social, she’s extremely gracious. I’ve had nothing but good interactions with her. I think she’s very appreciative for the team of lawyers now that are trying to get her name cleared.”

Anna Delvey sits at a table with her jaw resting on her hand in court. Julia Garner walks across the street while filming 'Inventing Anna'
Anna Delvey and Julia Garner | TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images/Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Levin acknowledged that Delvey knows she’s under a microscope, especially after Inventing Anna went viral. “Obviously, she’s very much in the public eye and so she’s involved in a number of different pursuits, including artistic pursuits,” he said referring to a recent art show she managed to host from prison.

“And she’s obviously very focused on trying to get her court case moving along as much as possible,” he added. “But I found her to be really delightful to work with. And she knows her case extremely well. She knows the law extremely well. So she’s not only a pleasure to work with, but she’s very knowledgeable about the law. She’s knowledgeable about the facts. And that’s always terrific when a client can become an advocate for themselves as well because it’s a very collaborative process.” 

Anna is currently living in very harsh prison conditions

Levin was especially surprised by Delvey’s good nature considering the harsh conditions she’s living under.

“When when I visit with her, it is through a plexiglass divider and she’s in jail,” he described. “I mean, this is not a minimum-security facility. When we roll up there, it is as harsh looking as a facility could be. It’s surrounded by tall gates and barbed wire and it’s a jail.”

“And she has access to phone and video to be able to be in communication with her attorneys and other members of her social circle,” he said. “She’s obviously very interested in making sure that the world knows her position and that she tries to clear her name. So she’s working. She has access to video and audio facilities. But other than that, this is not a minimum-security camp. She doesn’t have access to roam around. And it’s a harsh condition for sure.”

Could Anna Delvey be released from prison soon?

Levin believes his client will be released from prison soon. “What a lot of people don’t know about her case is that she served her time at this point,” Levin said. “She was convicted in New York state. She served her time. But for an immigration issue, she would be walking around freely as a free person. And frankly, that may be what happens very soon.”

“And so I’m really hoping that we’ll be able to get her out sooner rather than later so that we can really focus on getting her name cleared and get her exonerated fully,” he continued. “In the meantime, she’s very creative and she’s been focusing on doing art. She’s created some NFTs. And, she’s working on art shows. And I think that it’s something that while she has time on her hands to do it, she’s finally allowing herself the freedom to try to engage in artistic endeavors like that.”

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