Alec Baldwin's Connection To The Bad Vegan Crime Story

In the latest con-artist documentary to hit Netflix, "Bad Vegan," there are more twists and turns to the story than you might ever imagine — especially if you've already streamed "Inventing Anna" or "The Tinder Swindler." But apart from a Domino's pizza leading to the arrest of the vegan restauranteur and a husband that supposedly combats demons and monsters across the world, viewers might be feel a little whip-lashed to find that Alec Baldwin even plays a small role in this highly unusual story. 

Like many hotspot restaurants, Sarma Melngailis' fine vegan dining restaurant in Manhattan, Pure Food and Wine, initially drew all kinds of celebrities to its tables, including Baldwin and Owen Wilson. Though Baldwin would go on to meet his wife, Hilaria, at Pure Food and Wine, his initial presence at the restaurant wasn't just for the vegan dishes. 

In "Bad Vegan," it is revealed that Baldwin was attracted to Melngailis, although she did nothing more than try to find a dog for him to love (which is actually how she found her own beloved dog, Leon). Nothing happened with the actor because Melngailis was in a relationship at the time and Baldwin had moved on by the time Melngailis was single again. 

The impact of Alec Baldwin's presence didn't end there

After her breakup and without Baldwin to move on with, Melngailis eventually found herself talking to Anthony Strangis, who she knew as Shane Fox at the time. To Melngailis, it appeared that "Mr. Fox" and Baldwin knew each other because they would have short, quippy conversations on Twitter. Ultimately, Melngailis found Strangis to be funny and charming through his online alias, and the two began to talk more through the game Words With Friends before eventually meeting in New York. 

But it was their mutual connection to Baldwin that made Melngailis feel secure and destined to date Strangis. According to Vanity Fair, Baldwin did cast doubt on Strangis because of the price range he gave Baldwin when asking for a broker in East Hampton, although Stangis' attorney denied any such thing. "You must be selling a lot of cucumber towers over there," Baldwin responded on Twitter. But Strangis continued to be a major part of Melngailis' life and the destruction of her as well.

According to a report from Distractify, Melngailis plead guilty to grand larceny, tax fraud, and conspiring to defraud charges in 2017 and was sentenced to three and a half months in prison after giving money from her restaurant to Strangis, who promised to make her and her dog, Leon, immortal.