What Rachel Williams Has Said About 'Inventing Anna' – and Where Is She Now?

Inventing Anna on Netflix mixes real-life people with fictional characters – as it says at the start of every episode: "This whole story is completely true, except for all the parts that are totally made up."

Rachel Williams is one of the former, a real-life former friend of Anna Sorokin (played by Julia Garner).

In the show, Williams gets a fairly rough ride. The courtroom scene at the end eviscerates the character that's based on her (played by Katie Lowes), with Anna's lawyer painting her as a naive freeloader. The show also portrays her decision to help the police capture Sorokin as a betrayal of their friendship – even if Sorokin did leave Williams over $60,000 in debt.

Unsurprisingly, the real Williams (who goes by the professional name Rachel DeLoache Williams) has taken exception to some of the ways her character was being framed within the narrative of the show.

The former Vanity Fair staffer has written an essay for Time in which she outlines her feelings about Inventing Anna. She criticizes the way in which Sorokin is "being rewarded for her crimes" due to the Netflix show, which gave Sorokin over $300,000 for her life rights.

What Rachel Williams Said About Netflix's Inventing Anna

In the Time essay, Williams recounts that her negative feelings toward the Netflix show began as soon as she read her official character bio. She takes exception to being described as "a natural-born follower whose blind worship of Anna almost destroys her job, her credit, and her life."

She says of this: "This Netflix description felt shocking. [It] stripped me of my agency, accomplishments, and truth. Were we meant to believe that the woman I had become was not on account of the parents who raised me, the love I shared with family and friends, my own efforts or personal growth, but because of Anna?"

The author of My Friend Anna, who has sold her own story rights to HBO, says she was "not involved with the show" – and the Time article was published on February 10, one day before Inventing Anna dropped on Netflix.

Her main criticism in the article is that Netflix paid Sorokin for her story, allowing her, in Williams' eyes, to profit from her crimes.

She writes: "If your crimes are splashy enough, a media company could snatch up the rights to your story pre-trial so that you're able to afford the attorney of your choice, one skilled enough to minimize your penalty. You could be paid so much money that even after your funds are frozen and victims are repaid, you have cash left over. And, not only that, but if fame is what you're after, you'll have built yourself a 'brand,' created a platform, and found an audience to leverage for future opportunities."

In a previous piece for Air Mail, she accused Netflix of "effectively running a con woman's PR."

Since publishing the Time piece, Williams hasn't posted on Instagram or Twitter.

Where Is Rachel Williams Now?

Per her LinkedIn page, Williams lives in Brooklyn, New York, and describes herself as a "writer, photographer, creative consultant."

She left Vanity Fair (her employer in Inventing Anna) in February 2019, two months before the publishing house Quercus picked up her memoir, My Friend Anna, which was published in July of that year.

The essay she published in Time is taken from the updated paperback version of that book.

On her website, she has written a Q&A that answers many questions viewers are sure to have after watching Inventing Anna. In this, she confirmed again: "I have no affiliation with Inventing Anna nor was I involved with the making of the show."

She also revealed why she left Vanity Fair: "Unrelated to events with Anna, I was laid off from Vanity Fair in February 2019 due to industry-wide cutbacks. My relationship with former and present Vanity Fair staffers remains positive and I am grateful to have had their full support throughout the ordeal."

She also confirmed that, while Girls creator Lena Dunham did option her book for an HBO series, "the project is not currently in development."

Inventing Anna is streaming on Netflix now.

rachel williams inventing anna
Katie Lowes as Rachel Williams in "Inventing Anna." The real-life Williams has criticised the Netflix show. Netflix