Netflix Is Getting Sued Over 'Inventing Anna'

One of the real-life people depicted is accusing the streamer of portraying her as greedy, snobbish, disloyal, dishonest, cowardly, manipulative, and opportunistic."

Netflix Inventing Anna
Photo: Courtesy Netflix

Rachel Williams, depicted by actress Katie Lowes in Netflix's Inventing Anna, is taking the streamer to court. According to the AV Club, Williams claims that the show depicted her as "greedy, snobbish, disloyal, dishonest, cowardly, manipulative, and opportunistic." Even though each and every episode came with a disclaimer that clearly stated that the show was fictional, Williams, who is a former Vanity Fair photo editor, filed her suit in Delaware and is demanding damages, a full jury trial, and an injunction that would remove all depiction of her from the show.

"This action will show that Netflix made a deliberate decision for dramatic purposes to show Williams doing or saying things in the Series which portray her as a greedy, snobbish, disloyal, dishonest, cowardly, manipulative and opportunistic person," the complaint reads.

"This story is completely true. Except for the parts that are totally made up," the disclaimer reminds viewers.

Williams has signed with HBO to tell her side of the story and her suit claims that Netflix's show could cause confusion if and when HBO decides to do something with her book, My Friend Anna: The True Story of a Fake Heiress.

The lawsuit notes that Williams is the only character other than Anna Delvey that has is based on a real person. Williams's legal team insists that she's been subject to abuse and distress. Apparently, fans trolled her online after watching the show.

"The magnitude of the harm to Williams caused by the Netflix's defamation has been extraordinary by any plausible measure," the complaint reads. "The Series has been viewed by millions of people around the world, and as a result of Netflix's false portrayal of her as a despicable person, she has been subjected to a torrent of online abuse which have caused her personal humiliation, distress, and anguish, as well as damages to her earnings and/or potential earnings."

And although the suit only point fingers at Netflix, Williams's legal team notes that Shonda Rhimes did address the fact vs. fiction aspects of the series.

"We wanted to know what we were making up," Rhimes said on Inventing Anna: The Official Podcast. "We didn't want to be making things up just for the sake of it. We wanted to intentionally be fictionalizing moments versus just accidentally be fictionalizing them."

Lowes also said, "[Rachel the character is] a people pleaser. She's young, naïve, and had a privileged life. I don't think this is necessarily true of Rachel Williams in real life; I think this is true of the character Shonda wrote and what Shonda needed the character to be for the show."

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