Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

New York is trying to shut down that fake heiress' sweet Netflix deal

Photo: TIMOTHY A. CLARY (AFP/Getty Images)

Last summer, we reported that Shonda Rhimes’ first Netflix project since taking her Shondaland production company to the streaming service would be an adaptation of a New York Magazine story about a woman named Anna Sorokin who managed to convince New York’s richest dummies that she was a wealthy heiress from Europe who had loads of cash back home but just needed a couple bucks here and there until she could access her fortune. In practice, that meant running a complicated grift for years and years that involved scamming money out of various banks and hotels in the city to keep everyone from realizing she wasn’t who she said she was. Naturally, she eventually got caught, leading to Shonda Rhimes getting the rights to her story and putting together this Netflix show.

However, New York City has what it calls the “Son Of Sam Law,” which prevents convicted criminals from profiting off of their crimes—by, say, making a big Netflix deal with the superstar producer behind Grey’s Anatomy—and the state is now trying to convince a judge that any profits Sorokin may receive from the Netflix project should go to her victims. This comes from the New York Post, which says that Sorokin signed the deal while she was waiting for her trial on Rikers Island and that her first $30,000 check from the Netflix project went to cover part of her legal fees. Apparently, she was set to make another $70,000 last month from Netflix, but that payment has been delayed due to this new suit. The Post also says Netflix agreed to pay her a $7,000 royalty and a $15,000 consulting fee “for each episode,” which is so much fucking money.

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Part of Sorokin’s story also involved duping former Vanity Fair photo editor Rachel Williams into paying for a $70,000 trip to Morocco, with the Post noting that Williams sold her side of that story to HBO and Simon & Schuster for $600,000. Obviously, the lesson here is that every single one of us—no matter who we are or what we do—is in the wrong line of work. Getting paid for doing a job is for suckers, and the real money is in scamming people and/or getting scammed by people. On an unrelated note, if you’ve got any info on tickets to Fyre Fest 2, please let us know in the comments. We hear this one’s going to be really sick.

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