In Inventing Anna, you would be excused for ignoring the other characters due to the absurdity of Anna Delvey’s narrative.
By pretending to be the heiress to a 60 million euro inheritance, Anna Delvey tricked her way into Manhattan’s elite social circles.
Anna was apprehended by the authorities after she defrauded people and hotels for approximately $200,000.
Investigative writer Vivian Kent, who is modeled after real-life journalist Jessica Pressler, tells Anna’s story in the book Inventing Anna.
In the show, Vivian is attempting to regain her reputation after publishing a false report about Donovan Lamb.
Mohammed Islam, who tricked Jessica into writing a bogus story, is the inspiration for Donovan Lamb
After finishing her work with New York magazine, Jessica Pressler announced her move to Bloomberg News at the beginning of December 2014.
She would contribute to the outlet’s investigative department’s long-form reports about prominent financial figures.
Jessica told Politico she was “very heartbroken” to be leaving New York. “It’s the best magazine ever, and I like Adam [Moss, the head editor], plus I get to go about in my socks,” the author said.
Like leaving home, that is. But [at Bloomberg] it’s going to be incredibly amazing. There are simply so many chances to do amazing things.
But by the end of December, the plan had been abandoned because of an article Jessica had written about Mohammed Islam.
In the television show, Donovan misrepresents to Vivian Kent his stock market earnings of more than $70 million. After publishing the article, Kent loses both credibility and Bloomberg offers.
Pressler was likewise deceived by Mohammed Islam into thinking that he had won $72 million through stock trading.
Islam stated that when he was just eight years old, a cousin taught him how to trade penny stocks. At age 9, he suffered a big financial loss and briefly stopped working.
Islam ultimately “got into trading oil and gold” after learning from his errors. His net worth, he claimed, was in the “mid-eight figures,” but he refused to corroborate the $72 million amount.
A piece congratulating Islam for earning $72 million over lunch break was published by Jessica and New York magazine after they took the narrative on board.
As additional publications looked into the story, it immediately fell apart. Mohammed claimed to The New York Observer that he had lost all of the $72 million he had made on the stock market.
Islam engaged the PR company 5WPR, which issued the following statement:
“[Mohammed] is overwhelmed by all the attention he has received and he apologizes to whomever this has harmed, but let’s put things in perspective at the end of the day.
He never defrauded anyone. He didn’t commit any theft. He is a young child who exaggerated a narrative.
According to Edward Mermelstein, the attorney for Islam, Islam was fine but needed to rebuild fences with his family. Mohammed’s false story did not impress Mohammed’s parents. He clarified:
“Frankly, my father wanted to reject me. Mom basically told me she wouldn’t ever speak to me.
Their guiding principle is that they can no longer trust me if I lie about it and refuse to own up to it. I really regret any errors in judgment and any hurt I may have caused.
To their advantage, New York Magazine upheld Pressler’s defense
In Inventing Anna, Kent’s media company retains her but moves her to a less appealing area of the workplace. In reality, New York Magazine backed Jessica and accused itself of skipping the research stage.
The statement said, “We were tricked.” We accept full responsibility for the fact that our fact-checking procedure was deficient and that we ought to have known better. New York expresses regrets to our readers.
Islam allegedly presented a fact-checker a paper that purported to prove that he had an eight-figure bank account, according to the magazine.
Mohammed had a talent for trading, but prior to Pressler’s visit, he had only engaged in simulated trading.
According to Mohammed, I had profited even more than $72 million on the simulated trades.”
“All I can say is that I had great success in the simulated trades. The returns were astounding and fared better than the S&P.
According to a person familiar with the Islam family, Islam allegedly made up false figures on his computer and gave Jessica barely ten seconds to look at them.
The deceptive headline was amended by New York magazine to read, “Islam made millions selecting stocks.” Jessica assured CNN that the article’s information was accurate:
“I still believe the article is sufficiently skeptical. This is a rumor, and you should draw your own conclusions, the story says.
The headline struck me as being really crude. Regarding the actual piece, I feel at ease.
The fabricated report ended up being a gift in disguise for New York because Jessica was retained by the publication and continued to produce amazing articles.
Adam Moss, the chief editor of New York, stated in a staff memo:
Can’t say we anticipated things to work out this way, but we feel very fortunate to have her on board and eagerly anticipate publishing more of her work.