The convicted fraudster known as the "Fake German Heiress" spoke to ET about her plans for the future.
Who is the real Anna Delvey? "Gosh, I guess that's a loaded question," the convicted fraudster, also known as the "Fake German Heiress," says while opening up about her life now after the Netflix series, Inventing Anna, sparked renewed interest in her life and crimes. "I feel like my story has been told by so many people and I think this is the time for me to tell my story from my own perspective."
After being released from federal prison in October, Delvey spoke to ET's Rachel Smith from her New York City apartment, where she is under strict house arrest – but is still making plans for the future, including a comeback in the art world.
"My visa is currently pending. So, the only reason I'm on house arrest is because of my immigration status," the 31-year-old says, explaining that she's still awaiting a final determination on her documentation. After being released from prison in February 2011, she was taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for violating the terms of her visa. She was eventually released on a $10,000 bond and placed on house arrest.
Under the conditions of her release, Delvey has to wear an ankle monitor that confines her movements to her one-bedroom, East Village apartment with the roof being the only place she can access fresh air. "It's 24/7 confinement," she says, noting that her only reprieve is her weekly check-ins with her parole officers.
Delvey's also banned from social media, which means she's unable to post to her ever-popular Instagram account. "It has no expiration date. It's not like a punishment because it's just as long as my immigration case plays out or we get the order lifted," she explains. "I'm not an immigration expert, not yet. But it's pretty unprecedented."
Of course, Delvey does have visitors, including her many friends, some of whom are celebrities, and her team, which includes her lawyers, her manager, a publicist and an art dealer. She's also planning to host an exclusive dinner party series, an idea that was leaked to the press.
"They kind of actually helped move the needle quite a lot because it got so much attention. I got approached by all kinds of chefs, producers and what not and we're trying to make it happen," she says, explaining that the events "will be focused on social good. I am in talks with multiple charities, mainly on criminal justice and immigration reform because this is where my expertise is, and I will invite some of the representatives from these organizations and hopefully this will help shed attention to this cause."
Despite being stuck at home, one of the ways Delvey is currently moving forward is by selling the art she created while she was incarcerated, which is her main source of income. In May, she hosted a pop-up art show. Titled "Allegedly," the gallery included etched drawings reportedly starting at $10,000 apiece. Since then, a collection of originals have been available for purchase, with prices ranging from $17,000 to $25,000, while Delvey says that other prints are also available for $250.
"I've sold a lot of my prints and a lot of my art," Delvey says, explaining that she's "poking fun at myself and the events I've been through through my sketches." She adds, "I just see it as one of the many tools I have to use to kind of tell my perspective and kind of, like, tell my story and to kind of, like, share more about myself with the world."
Among those buying her art are "a lot of lawyers" and Chloe Fineman, who impersonated her in the SNL sketch "Inventing Chloe." "She purchased the Saturday Night Live [piece]," Delvey says, revealing that "I get around $300,000, maybe" from sales.
While her interest in art started while she was studying at Parsons in Paris, it wasn't until she was on trial that she began sketching again. "There are so many, I don't know, like, hours where nothing happens. So, I kind of took it out there," she explains.
Soon after that, the New York Times published some of her sketches from court, while her friend Neff posted some of the images to Instagram. Later, HBO commissioned a few originals for the Generation Hustle docuseries. “They really bring her stories to life in a way that I’m not sure I’ve seen done elsewhere,” director Martha Shane previously told ET about the drawings.
Generation Hustle came out in October 2021, just a few months before the release of Inventing Anna, an adaptation based on the popular New York magazine article that chronicled Delvey's unbelievably true story.
After arriving from Germany in 2013, she spent several years in New York City hoping to launch an exclusive SoHo House-type art club. She pretended to have a trust fund that hadn’t kicked in yet as a way to climb the social ladder and convince several top financial institutions to grant her a $20 million loan for the project, known as the Anna Delvey Foundation (ADF).
Eventually, Delvey's lavish lifestyle caught up to her. And when her expenses, fees and various IOUs to friends started catching up to her, she used invalid credit cards, false personal information, fake bank statements and fraudulent checks to keep the money flowing.
Unable to keep up, the authorities eventually got involved. By 2017, Delvey was arrested and found guilty in 2019 on multiple counts of grand larceny. Just 28 years old at the time, she was sentenced to between four and 12 years in prison before being released in 2021.
When it comes to Shonda Rhimes' scripted version of events, which earned Julia Garner an Emmy nomination for her portrayal of Delvey, she asserts the series is not a documentary. "It's a dramatized version of real-life events for entertainment purposes," Delvey says, hoping to move past "the caricature that's been presented on the dramatized Netflix series."
"My intentions were drastically misrepresented and, like, I never really had any intention to defraud anybody or to do any harm," she continues. "I've been portrayed like this greedy, self-serving, shallow person, which hopefully I'll show people that I'm not."
But don't expect her to put her life in front of the camera, at least not the way it's been seen on screen in various documentaries or on Netflix. Delvey says she has no interest in doing reality TV, and any rumors about her starring in her own show are untrue. "There's no truth to that," she says.
Not only that, but Delvey doesn't want to go on any dating series despite people coming to her with ideas for finding love on screen. "I'm getting pitched a lot of dating shows, but I'm just trying to figure out my own life," she says, explaining that she's "too busy [for dating]."
In fact, being a celebrity or famous was not part of Delvey's plan. "That was not really my goal because everything I've done publicity wise was from the damage control perspective," she says, noting that founding an art house is "not something that naturally leads to fame."
And when it comes to everything she's gone through, from her arrest to her trial to her time behind bars and her current house arrest, "I just learned so much and met so many people that I wouldn't have normally," Delvey says. "It's been, like, a huge learning experience… I've learned so much about the system and kind of human experience and a lot about myself."