Netflix's newest doc shocks fans as woman reveals she was swindled out of $2m to make her dog 'immortal'
Legit might be the weirdest synopsis for a documentary we've ever heard
How does a woman become a criminal, losing her business empire and being swindled out of $2 million to try and make her dog immortal pique your interest?
Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives is the story of Sarma Melngailis, the former celebrity restaurateur turned criminal who once helmed Pure Food and Wine and One Lucky Duck, two popular vegan hotspots in New York.
Without giving too much away, Melngailis threw her restaurant chain and business empire away in a bizarre turn of events after marrying Anthony Strangis: a conman who promised he could make her dog "immortal".
Watching #badvegan and this woman is an ACTUAL idiot. I'm perplexed how a savy business woman can be so incredibly stupid.
— lexaprotegé (@agoraphobicpro) March 16, 2022
As many on social media have noted following the Tinder Swindler, this really is a 'hold my beer' moment.
— Chuck (@Calhoun_County_) March 16, 2022
The comparisons between the two and the recent slate of documentaries following women taken advantage of by opportunistic men have prompted others to lament how common this type of behaviour still is.
I’m finding it too difficult to have any sympathy for Sarma in Netflix’s doc Bad Vegan. WHY are these women in all these recent documentaries sending hundreds of thousands of dollars to men who give them absolutely nothing? it’s painful to watch
— J (@jxssmitchell) March 16, 2022
call girls dumb or easy or whatever you want but documentaries like Tinder Swindler and Bad Vegan just go to show how much men gaslight, mentally abuse, manipulate and scare women into doing things for the hope of love and happiness
— 6F Jords 💜 (HOLS🌴) (@jordsxolc) March 16, 2022
Others, whether sarcastically or not, have highlighted just what lengths people will go to preserve what they love the most.
Definitely not relating to the Bad Vegan who got manipulated by someone who told her her dog could live forever. No way. Couldn’t be me. 😬🥺 pic.twitter.com/KJJ2fBUNdM
— Eliza Skinner (@elizaskinner) March 17, 2022
The events depicted in the doc took place in 2017 when, willing to do anything to ensure her dog Leon would be around forever, Melngailis was effectively led astray by her new beau who ended up entangling her in fraud, larceny, embezzlement, mental manipulation, and all manner of other crimes.
As well as candid interviews with Melngailis herself, the four-part series sits down with ex-staff members, friends and even the investors she helped scam almost $1m from on the self-destructive path that led her to stand trial in court.
Now 49, the same woman who once enjoyed the company of celebrities like Owen Wilson, Alec Baldwin, and even the Clintons, recently revealed in her blog that the money from the documentary was used to repay those caught up in the scandal, adding that she didn't earn a penny
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