Who is Chase Sikorski in real life?
While the identity of the real Chase has not been officially confirmed by Anna or anyone related to the show, many are already theorising that it could be Korean-American tech entrepreneur, Hunter Lee Soik.
In 2013 (which is the year Anna arrived in New York and began her scam), Soik launched a Kickstarter campaign for an app he was developing named 'Shadow'. In total, he received $82,577 in funding and 3,784 backers which well exceeded his target of $50,000. "Our brain is an incredibly creative problem solver," the pitch statement reads." And some parts of it are most active while we’re sleeping. Yet, wee forget 95% of our dreams within five minutes of waking up. That’s a huge amount of data—with unfathomable of potential—we forget each day, all because we don’t have a good way to record and understand it. What would happen if we remembered? Even better, what if we learned to make sense of it? We’re here to find out."
Despite reaching his target goal, Soik went on to drop the app and instead, founded the company Ensō Group, a Hong Kong-based firm with a focus on "investing and supporting frontier technology.
You'll recall in Inventing Anna that Chase was developing an app named 'Wake' which sought to download user's dreams and analyse their subconscious, which sounds eerily similar to the goal of Hunter's app. The show also makes a reference to Chase' 'futurist' TED Talks, along with his profile in the New Yorker — both of which were achieved by Soik who gave his own TED Talk in 2017 and was profiled for his work on 'Shadow' by the New Yorker.
As we know, Inventing Anna was loosely based off Jessica Pressler's article for New York magazine, titled 'How An Aspiring 'It Girl Tricked New York's Party People — And Its Banks'. In the article, she briefly references a man connected to Anna whom she refers to as "a futurist on the TED Talks circuit". At one point during the show, Anna even refers to Chase as "the futurist" which was a subtle nod to this quote.
One glance at his Linkedin page places Soik in Dubai roughly two years ago, and as we know from the show, Chase is said to have run away to Dubai to begin a new life and start a new business. There's also an Instagram post from Anna Delvey back in 2014 which still has Soik tagged, meaning they definitely knew each other in some capacity (be it romantic or otherwise).
There's also the small detail of the names 'Chase' and Hunter' sharing a parallel, but it's unclear if the show's producers are just playing with us at this point.
All signs are definitely pointing to Soik at this stage, but without official confirmation from anyone involved, it's impossible to know for sure.
In February 2021, Anna Delvey was released from incarceration having only spent two years in prison and returned to New York upon her release. In March 2021, she was arrested by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for overstaying her visa and is currently still in custody, awaiting deportation.
Despite this, she remains active on social media, posting photos of the show and interviews she's given on Instagram. Most recently, she put up an Instagram story offering an exclusive interview with the outlet who correctly identified the real Chase Sikorski.
We'll be standing by to see who actually lands the exclusive, but one quick internet search is showing that many are already identifying Hunter Lee Soik as the real Chase. Whether or not this is the case remains to be seen, but we have no doubt that Anna will find an explosive announcement method for the grand reveal.
Read more about Inventing Anna in our exclusive March cover story with Julia Garner here, or pick up a copy on stands now.