Walking into the Manhattan Civil Courthouse on Tuesday afternoon to witness Anna Delvey's latest hearing, I, too, felt like I was pretending to be someone I wasn't. For starters, I was wearing a crop top. I also wasn't a lawyer, a photographer, or a seasoned crime reporter, all of whom made up the majority of the people in the courtroom. I was, however, one of the many people who learned about Delvey on the internet last week, and subsequently became obsessed.
The 27-year-old was indicted on six counts of grand larceny and attempted grand larceny, as well as theft of services, in 2017. Nevertheless, it wasn't until one of her victims, Rachel Deloache Williams, a photo editor at Vanity Fair, published a riveting essay in April about being taken advantage of — to the tune of $62,000 out of her pocket — by Delvey that her con artist ways came to light. Last week, The Cut followed up with an extensive account of Delvey's scams that made its way all over the internet. In no time at all, Delvey was dubbed "The Soho Grifter," the 2018 follow-up to the infamous "Hipster Grifter" of 2009.
As Delvey worked her way up the New York City social ladder, she ducked payments, cashed bad checks, and carried out other scams all apparently amounting to $275,000. It turned out she was not Anna Delvey, German heiress, but Anna Sorokin, the Russian-born daughter of a former truck driver who's now hoping for a plea deal of one to three years, according to her lawyer, Todd Spodek.
This particular appearance was brief — the two sides quickly decided on a June 19 deadline to submit written arguments for her plea deal, and that was that — but was the first time those who read Delvey's story had the opportunity to lay eyes on her. Followers of Delvey's story will be happy to know she was still sporting her trademark Céline glasses, but her free-flowing mane had been wrangled into two braided pigtails. You'll probably see for yourself sometime soon, since professional photographers were granted permission to take photos over Spodek's objections. This case, according to Judge Kiesel, had become of such public interest that photos were now warranted, just one of many ways Delvey's life has changed since she became infamous.
It comes as no surprise, however, that her story is already getting "a lot of interest" from Hollywood, according to author of the original report, Jessica Pressler. The Wrap also reported that Delvey would like Jennifer Lawrence or Margot Robbie to play her in this hypothetical movie — which seems less and less hypothetical every day.
Today, though, Hollywood glamor was a world away as Delvy entered the courtroom with a curt glance at the spectators before turning her back and taking a seat. And yet, her increasing celebrity is clearly evident. The moment Delvey's short-lived appearance was over, the gaggle of us who had shown up to gawk (and report back) filed out of the room, movie-theater style.