Though the reign of Anna Delvey, the Russian-born, German-raised scammer, over New York’s fashion elite has come to an end, she continues to live up to her persona.
The almost unbelievable story of Delvey (née Sorokin) was chronicled in New York magazine last May, and nearly one year later her micro-celebrity status remains a talking point for Twitter. That’s thanks in part to the fact that the rights to the story of the fake heiress have been snatched up by Shonda Rhimes, as part of her Netflix deal, and partially thanks to the fact that today Sorokin appeared in front of a Manhattan jury for her trial.
Sorokin was charged with ten counts of grand larceny and thefts of services after allegedly swindling a hefty number of fellow socialites and a few hotels—including the Beekman Hotel, the W Downtown, and the Parker Méridien, all in New York—out of some $275,000, attempting to take out $22 million loan, and stiffing a friend for a $62,000 bill for an all-expenses-paid trip to Morocco, which ultimately landed her in jail at Rikers Island.
While Sorokin was incarcerated, her Instagram account remained public, and she racked up nearly 60,000 followers in the subsequent months. It should be noted that Sorokin also has connections to another popular grifter: Billy McFarland of Fyre Festival infamy. Page Six reported that in 2013 the socialite figured out a way to squat rent-free in the SoHo headquarters for Magnises, McFarland’s fraudulent credit card company, for four months.
On Wednesday afternoon, the 28-year-old Sorokin appeared in New York for the opening day of her trial, and Twitter had a lot to say about what she wore: a black dress with a deep V neckline, a black choker, large black framed glasses, and ballet flats, making her look more like an edgy cellist than a Balenciaga-wearing, self-proclaimed German heiress with $60 million to her name, though it is still a more interesting look for court than most.
According to Page Six, for her first court appearance and jury selection, on March 21, after Sorokin’s lawyer Todd Spodek urged her not to wear stilettos, she opted for an affordable H&M ensemble consisting of a black blazer over a beige sweater.
Some have also taken notice of Sorokin’s hair, which some cite as one of the initial tells that tipped off the actual rich people around her that Sorokin was faking it. While she was scamming her way through the hotels of SoHo, her hair remained frizzy, and many critics have argued that if she really had the gargantuan amount of disposable income she claimed to have, her ends might not have appeared to be so split all the time. Today, when Sorokin appeared before the jury, she sported a rather sleek hairdo.
If Sorokin is to be convicted after her trial, she may face deportation for overstaying her visa, according to reports from Insider, which spoke to an ICE representative named Rachel Yong Yow. “ICE is requesting that we be notified prior to her release from local custody so she can be taken into ICE custody,” she said. “Regardless of whether or not she is convicted, she is amenable for removal because she is a visa waiver overstay. If she is convicted, she is sentenced to serve her time in the U.S.”
A Brief History of the 16 Most Memorable Celebrity Courtroom Sketches, from Amy Winehouse to Taylor Swift
Though Denver’s court system somehow managed to assemble a jury who’d maybe never listened to Taylor Swift for her groping trial this past week, the whole world seemed to know that the sketches that emerged from the courtroom bore little to no resemblance to the pop star—other than her preference for Peter Pan collars. Indeed, the real artist behind the sketch was Jeff Kandyba, but some joked that it was likely instead Katheryn Hudson—the birth name of Swift’s nemesis, Katy Perry.
Note that Mona Shafer Edwards took care to capture the red soles of Lindsay Lohan‘s Louboutins when the actress was led away in handcuffs in 2010, to await a hearing on whether she violated her probation (for drunken driving and cocaine possession) by failing a drug test.
This sketch of Martin Shkreli, the “Pharma bro” who’s been widely hated since 2015, was depicted by the same artist responsible for the infamous depiction of Tom Brady. This time around, she seemed to incorporate the public opinion about Shkreli ever since he raised the price of a lifesaving drug by more than 5,000 percent into the sketch—no doubt appreciated by the jury, who’s so far reportedly called him both a “snake” and a “dick.”
After Paris Hilton showed up late to her 2007 Beverly Hills trial in an uncharacteristic pinstripe suit, but before she was convicted of violating her probation, the early 2000s icon actually pulled out her compact and started doing her makeup in court—a moment Edwards benevolently chose not to depict.
In 2009, Amy Winehouse was accused of assaulting a fan and ultimately acquitted—after the singer, just 5’3″ in her ballet flats, stood up to remind the judge of her small stature and stand by her claim that she only could have been defending herself.
Edwards depicted Michael Jackson in court in 1996 for a low-key case (one regarding the Jackson Family Honors show, and his failure to sing alone, without his family, onstage), and she also again captured him in 2005, when he faced charges for molesting a teenager. Though he’d worn a red jacket before, here, the wan singer wisely left his flashy looks at home—though he does sort of resemble an accurate mix of Voldemort and a Gryffindor.
In 2015, Pharrell Williams took part in an eight-day trial with Robin Thicke whose jury ultimately decided that their single “Blurred Lines,” which made $16 million in profits, borrowed just a little too much from Martin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up.” Evidently, he took the trial very, very seriously: It was one of the only time he took care to leave his trademark camo blazers and murses at home.
Edwards was also there at the trial to depict Robin Thicke, and indeed, her sketch of the singer was heralded by some as the only good thing about the entire case. After all, to not have commemorated the moment Thicke pulled out a keyboard on the witness stand and sang a medley of U2’s “With Or Without You,” The Beatles’ “Let It Be,” Alphaville’s “Forever Young,” Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry” and Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” would have been a crime in and of itself.
Martha Stewart famously went on trial—and eventually went to prison—in 2004 for obstructing an investigation into her stock sales, but chief in the domestic goddess’s mind throughout the process were also her portraits during the trial; she even courted sketch artists ahead of time, and got the Wall Street Journal to switch out its rendering where she thought she appeared bloated. Though this sketch by alum Rosenberg was apparently passable, another courtroom frequenter, Shirley Shepard, wasn’t so lucky: When Shepard showed up to a taping of her show three years later, Stewart allegedly pointed her out to the audience—and declared her a “bad artist.”
Edwards was also there to capture the original modern-day courtroom celeb, Winona Ryder, when she went on trial for shoplifting $5,560 worth of items from Saks Fifth Avenue in 2002. The $760 cashmere Marc Jacobs sweater she took was nowhere to be found in court, though; a subdued Ryder, who did not testify, kept it mum in the courtroom and also kept her look subdued.
After winning two Emmy Awards for her courtroom sketches, Ida Libby Dengrove went on to depict Sex Pistols frontman Sid Vicious when he was infamously accused of murdering his late girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, who was found stabbed with a knife belonging to Vicious at the Chelsea Hotel in 1978. Whether you’re team Sid or Nancy, the incident clearly took a toll on Vicious: Here, he looks much older than his early twenties.
Even on crutches, Halle Berry still stood out when she showed up to her custody battle with her ex Gabriel Aubry in 2012, in part because of another accessory: a flashy apparent engagement ring from her then-partner Olivier Martinez, whom she ended up marrying the next year.
Hidden from Edwards’s depiction of an at-ease Dolly Parton at her 1985 trial for charges she’d copied much of her hit “9 to 5” is not only the fact that the singer was wearing stilettos, but also that she told Edwards she loved her drawings in the bathroom—and even wrote her a check to purchase one before heading into the stall.
Like his newfound buddy, Martha Stewart, Snoop Dogg has also spent time in the courtroom, though back in 1996, when he was known as Snoop Doggy Dogg, it was hardly a laughing matter: Along with his bodyguard, he was charged—and ultimately acquitted—of murder, after the shooting death of a gang member, hence his uncharacteristically subdued demeanor.
Thanks to her abusive ex Chris Brown, Rihanna has also found herself spending time in the courtroom. Brown had purple hair at the time that he pleaded guilty to his felony assaults against the singer in 2009, while Rihanna remained stony-faced—and dressed in head-to-toe black.