I know it’s terrible, but I enjoy reading true stories about grifters with sociopathic tendencies. It’s not that I get a kick out of reading of others’ misfortune; I am just always amazed about how people can just lie and lie and lie without a shred of guilt. My Friend Anna is a fascinating read about Rachel DeLoache Williams, a photo editor for Vanity Fair, and her friendship with a woman who was passing herself off as an über-wealthy German heiress.
Anna Delvey lived in luxury boutique hotels, hung out at all the New York City hot spots, was a shopping fiend, and allegedly was working on developing an event space for artists when Rachel met her through friends. Rachel and Anna quickly became BFFs, and Rachel became Anna’s plus-one at expensive dinners at Le Coucou, infrared sauna sessions at HigherDOSE, for drinks at the 11 Howard Library bar, and at almost daily workout sessions with a celebrity personal trainer. Anna paid for it all without batting an eyelash. So when Anna offered to take Rachel on an all-expenses-paid trip to Morocco, complete with a personal trainer and a videographer who would be shooting a documentary of Anna’s travels, Rachel was excited to be her guest at the $7,500 per night private villa.
While they were planning the trip, Anna’s credit card suddenly stopped working, and she asked Rachel if she could pay for the trip up front, saying she would reimburse her ASAP for their flights, expensive meals, and shopping sprees, even the villa! Next thing Rachel knew, more than $62,000 had been charged to her credit cards, including her corporate card (that alone makes me break out in hives). When Rachel got back to NYC, unsettled and eager to get her money back, her alleged BFF became shady and elusive, leaving Rachel to question if she even knew who Anna was after all. The story became headline-news during Anna’s trial earlier this year… you’ll get to read Rachel’s perspective when the book hits shelves on July 23.