The “socialite” scammer — who posed as a German heiress called Anna Delvey to defraud banks, hotels and friends in New York City from 2013 to 2017 — is currently languishing in ICE custody in Orange County, NY.
Still, the 31-year-old wanted to make sure she was portrayed appropriately by Emmy-winning actress Julia Garner.
“Anna asked me, ‘Do I look like a bad b—ch?’” her best friend, Neffatari Davis. told The Post. “I was like, ‘Yes!’”
Having served less than two years in prison on charges including grand larceny and paid back nearly $200,000 in restitution, Sorokin is fighting to stay in the US rather than be deported to Germany.
“Anna has a good heart, but she has a dark twisted mind,” said Davis. “She’s like a
Tim Burton character — you love them, but if you’re watching them at night they’re a little creepy.
“She doesn’t mean harm … but then again, she might!”
Davis, now 31, was a college student with a part-time job as a concierge at Soho’s trendy 11 Howard hotel when she met Sorokin, who claimed to be worth $67 million.
“Anna was like a little fairy who had just landed in New York,” said Davis: “I just thought, ‘This is my little weird friend.’”
Sorokin told everyone she was an heiress named Anna Delvey. In reality, she was born in Domodedovo, a working-class town southeast of Moscow, in 1991. Her father, Vadim Sorokin, worked as a truck driver, while her mother owned a small convenience store. The family moved to Germany in 2007, when Sorokin was 16.
She came to New York City in 2013, first showing up at Fashion Week. Sorokin’s plan was to set up a high-end members-only arts club, according to her former defense attorney Todd Spodek, but things spiraled out of control.
“Anna had every intention of doing things the right way, but she couldn’t open those doors without doing something a little bit gray to open the door,” Spodek said during her trial.
Sorokin ended up swindling new friends and various businesses out of $275,000 during a 10-month spree.
Davis, who grew up in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and came to NYC to study film-making, got swept up in her new friend’s flashy life as Sorokin treated her to dinners at Soho hotspots including Le Coucou — where the Dover sole costs $78 — and Uncle Boon’s.
Sorokin also paid for treats for Davis including posh facials and cryotherapy. Still, “I had no clue,” said Davis: “She never ever told me she was a scammer.
“If she had told me, I would have told her, ‘Look. this ain’t going to work out — I’m the black girl, they’re going to blame it on me.’ All I knew was that I had a friend, a rich heiress, who wanted to help me become better.”
After Sorokin stuck Davis with a pricey restaurant bill, she later paid her back triple the amount. According to New York magazine, Sorokin allegedly created fake bank statements for Swiss accounts and, per prosecutors, wrote fraudulent checks to help grease her crimes.
Former friend Rachel DeLoache Williams, a one-time Vanity Fair photo editor, has said that Sorokin had promised her an all-expenses trip to Morocco in the spring of 2017, but she was left holding the $62,000 tab when Sorokin’s credit cards mysteriously stopped working.
“She owed me more money than I made in a year,” DeLoache Williams told ABC News last October. “To have someone that I had put so much goodwill into turn out to just be like a liar and who had willfully hurt me, was very painful,” she said.
When things started to fall apart for Sorokin, “I saw the decline in her life and I thought, ‘This must be what happens to rich white girls when their dad cuts them off!’” Davis recalled. “When she was arrested, it all clicked — all the little broken promises. Toward the end of her stay at 11 Howard she was always saying that the $35,000 she owed was going to be wired.”
After Sorokin’s arrest, “I was so shocked, I felt like I didn’t even know her,” Davis said.
In April 2019, Sorokin was convicted by a Manhattan jury on four counts of theft services, three counts of grand larceny and one count of attempted grand larceny. That May, she was sentenced to a minimum of four years in prison following a month-long trial, during which she enlisted a stylist to keep up her glamorous appearance in court.
“The thing is, I’m not sorry,” Sorkin told The New York Times at the time of her conviction. “I’d be lying to you and to everyone else and to myself if I said I was sorry for anything.”
She later apologized, admitting people had suffered because of her actions.
Davis has empathy for Sorokin and believes her friend had good intentions where she was concerned.
“What I realize now is that she felt so guilty, she needed to give back to someone to almost release her from the guilt of stealing this money,” Davis said. “And her tips helped with my bills, my college debt.
“My mom still thinks it’s insane that we’re friends — all she sees Is socialite scammer theft — but why would I sit and hate her?”
In fact, Davis now has a career thanks to Delvey. She landed a “six-figure” job with producer Shonda Rhimes’ company, Shondaland, as a consultant on “Inventing Anna.” Actress Alexis Flloyd plays Davis in the series.
Now living in Los Angeles with her boyfriend and working on new projects, Davis, 31, told The Post: “One of the last things that Anna said to me [before her arrest] was, ‘I’m going to make you rich or famous.’ We laugh now, but I’m like, ‘Oh yeah, b–ch, I don’t know how you even predicted that!’”
Sorokin sold the rights to her story for a reported $320,000 to Netflix, and met with Garner while in prison.
“People are laughing about Julia’s accent [in the trailer], but that’s literally how Anna talks,” Davis said. “She has five different accents because she had to be so many people!”
Sorokin was released from prison in February 2021. Making her return to the Big Apple, she could not help but brag as she posted on her Instagram account in March: “They already told you I own this lawless f—king city.”
The account also featured photos of her drinking champagne from a claw-footed tub and living it up.
“Anna was only out for a few weeks before ICE scooped her up,” Davis said. “She was very sarcastic on Instagram … I think they were watching her.
“They told her that her visa had expired, but, instead of being deported, Anna — being Anna — said, ‘I’m going to fight this’. She thought it would be a quick fight. I think if she was a plain Jane and not in the media she would have just been deported.
“She put in one appeal and she’s waiting to see if it’s yay or nay,” Davis added. “She really feels ‘Ok, I’m being punished for being Anna Delvey, not my crimes.’”
Despite reports that her parents have disowned her, Davis said, “Her mom and dad are not happy about what happened, but she’s close with her dad. He’s very supportive, and she and her mom still speak. They give her money for her phone calls and her commissary.”
Davis feels Sorokin has been punished enough.
“She got out on good behavior and she used the money Netflix gave her to pay everybody back, she owes no money,” Davis said. “She’s paid for her crimes, she didn’t kill anyone. She did wrong, but, at the end of the day, there are people who have done worse. Anna’s in [ICE detention] with all types of crazy people — child predators, people who abuse their kids. She’s the only woman in there.
“I love Anna for being Anna. No one is perfect,” Davis said of her decision to stand by her disgraced friend. “If I’m not there, no one will be there for her. if I was in Germany and didn’t have my family, I know she would be there for me.”