Anna Sorokin: Real-life ‘Inventing Anna’ released from prison


Anna Sorokin, the fake heiress Netflix’s “Inventing Anna” is based on, was released from ICE custody on Friday.

Juda Engelmayer, a spokesman for Sorokin, confirmed her release in an email to CNN Friday night.

“She will remain under the supervision of ICE, but will be able to fight her deportation free of physical custody,” said John Sandweg, a former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement who is on Sorokin’s legal team.

Immigration Judge Charles Conroy cleared the way for Sorokin’s release earlier this week, setting her bond at $10,000 and requiring her to follow certain conditions. Among them: staying off social media and staying at the same residential address 24 hours a day while her case plays out.

The judge’s ruling also said ICE can use an ankle monitor to keep track of Sorokin.

An ICE spokesman said Sorokin was released Friday following the judge’s order.

She had been in ICE custody for 17 months, according to her attorney — most of it at the Orange County Correctional Facility in upstate New York, about 60 miles from New York City.

“We are grateful that the court agreed that her continued detention is unnecessary,” Sandweg said in a statement Friday.

Sorokin was found guilty of stealing more than $200,000 from banks and friends while working her way into New York society, the Manhattan District Attorney said after her 2019 sentencing.

Her case attracted widespread attention after a 2018 New York magazine article.

That article became the basis for Shonda Rhimes’ “Inventing Anna,” a dramatization that came out on Netflix in February and quickly became one of the streamer’s most popular shows. Actress Julia Garner, best known for her Emmy-winning role as Ruth on “Ozark,” played Sorokin.

The show ends with Sorokin’s conviction. But in real life, the drama continues.

Sorokin was released from prison in February 2021 after serving nearly four years for theft and burglary. But it wasn’t long before she ended up back behind bars.

ICE took custody of Sorokin on March 25, 2021. In November, the Board of Immigration Appeals granted an emergency stay in her case, according to ICE. She has been fighting her deportation — and also joined a group of plaintiffs who sued the agency earlier this year, alleging they requested and were denied Covid booster shots while in custody. They dropped their lawsuit in March after receiving the shots, according to court records.

While she has been detained, frequent postings have been made to Sorokin’s social media accounts. More recently, they have featured Sorokin’s artwork, which was featured in an exhibition in New York in May.

Earlier this year, an attorney representing Sorokin told NBC News that he feared her deportation when he could not reach her, but later word came that she was still in ICE custody.

Soon after, Sorokin spoke out from behind bars, telling the “Call Her Daddy” podcast that she never claimed to be a German heiress.

“I was from Germany, which was true, but nobody ever asked me about my job,” Sorokin said. “No one asks who your parents are and how much money they make. It’s just outrageous.”

She told host Alex Cooper that she never “told any senseless lies.”

But she admitted – sort of – to having lied about her status and background.

“I guess I did,” she said. “I mean, I can’t tell an exact case, but I’m sure.”

Sorokin also said she was surprised by the public’s fascination with her story.

“It was just really a surprise to me that people would be so interested in the way I did things because it just made so much sense to me,” she said.

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