IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Real-life Anna Delvey victim reveals what ‘Inventing Anna’ got wrong

"What was actually more alarming was that in real-life Anna was cool as a cucumber," Williams recalled.

Rachel Williams, the real-life woman who befriended and traveled with fake German heiress Anna Delvey — only to be scammed by her like countless other victims — is opening up about the truth behind Netflix's true-crime series "Inventing Anna."

Williams, portrayed in the series by "Scandal" alum Katie Lowes, shared on the latest episode of Facebook Watch's "Red Table Talk" that her initially "fun friendship" with the Russian-born Delvey, played by Emmy winner Julia Garner, took a nightmarish turn when the pair took a "vacation from hell" together in Morocco.

"She could be sort of hard to read and she was definitely one of a kind," Williams said, trying to explain the onset of her friendship with the allegedly wealthy Delvey, whose real name is Anna Sorokin.

"I ended up creating more empathy for her because everything had a backstory," she continued. "I don't how much of it was true, obviously. So, I would ask, ‘Do you talk to your parents much?’ And she would have some explanation about them having a business arrangement more than a close relationship. Or, I’d ask her about past friendships and she would have an explanation as to why they weren’t very close anymore.”

Williams said she began to feel "an artificial feeling of closeness" with Delvey, even considering the impostor one of her best friends.

All of that changed, however, when Williams and Delvey traveled together to Marrakesh on what was supposed to be a glamorous getaway.

The real Rachel Williams opens up on "Red Table Talk" about her friendship with fake German heiress Anna Delvey.
The real Rachel Williams opens up on "Red Table Talk" about her friendship with fake German heiress Anna Delvey.Red Table Talk

But, as depicted in "Inventing Anna," the pair's dream trip, which included an expensive stay at the luxury hotel La Mamounia, turned disastrous, with Williams bilked out of $62,000 — more money than she made in a year at the time.

“At first, it’s sparkly and flashy and incredible. It's the most amazing hotel I've ever seen and everything seems to be fine," she recalled of the vacation's early days.

"But then over the course of the week," she continued, "it becomes clear that Anna's having trouble with her credit cards not working anywhere. I sort of leapt to try to help."

Delvey already owed money to Williams, after Delvey "accidentally" checked her wallet in her luggage on the flight over from New York. Delvey's tab in Morocco quickly ballooned.

"She wanted to buy some dresses, so that went on my card. She wanted to get dinner, that went on my card," recalled Williams. "But when it came to the hotel itself, she'd been pulled aside by managers several times and then we woke up and there were these two managers in the villa and they were not going to leave without a functioning card on file."

The actual confrontation was even more disturbing that what viewers saw in the Netflix series, said Williams.

"The Netflix show has it sort of like a scary, dramatic confrontation with, like, the threat of violence, and then Anna, like, very worked up," she said.

"What was actually more alarming was that in real-life Anna was cool as a cucumber," she continued. "She didn't seem to register the seriousness, the risk. Normal people have alarm bells going off when you're being told you can't leave somewhere, especially in a foreign country."

Katie Lowes (left) plays Williams (right) in "Inventing Anna."
Katie Lowes (left) plays Williams (right) in "Inventing Anna."Netflix / Getty Images

"I think that actually made me more stressed out," added Williams. "(Delvey) was like, 'I don't know why you guys are making me feel like this. Like, the wire's on the way. I've taken care of it. Why are you being so dramatic?'"

The whole ordeal, which included an email correspondence with an accountant of Delvey's who wasn't actually real, left Williams "spinning."

"I just kept waiting for her to understand the magnitude of the situation she'd created and I kept calling out for the good in her to recognize that this wasn't OK," she recalled.

The thousands of dollars she'd spent on the trip caused Williams to lose sleep and have panic attacks.

"I finally ended up going to the police after months of stress," she said.

Delvey served about four years in prison after being found guilty of swindling and attempting to swindle banks and hotels out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

She was released on parole in February 2021. Six weeks later, she was taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for having overstayed her VISA and was later reportedly deported to Germany.