“Bad Vegan”: Sarma Melngailis calls the end of the docuseries “disturbing and misleading”

Netflix Docuseries Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives included numerous recorded phone calls between famed vegan restaurateur Sarma Melngailis and her ex-husband, Anthony Strangis. However, a strange phone call towards the end of the documentary confused many viewers. It looked like Melngailis was flirting with Strangis nearly two years after she accused him of scamming her out of millions of dollars. However, she has since set the record straight.

Sarma Melngailis called the phone call at the end 'disturbingly misleading'

In a March 16 blog post, Sarma Melngailis reveals what she thought Bad Vegan was right and wrong about her. She discussed the situation with her employees, who affectionately called her “Sarmama” before their two public walkouts after she failed to make payroll.

Melngailis felt the docuseries accurately portrayed how much she cared about them. According to the former celebrity vegan chef, she provided material for the documentary in return for payment which she passed on to her former staff. Other than that, Melngailis denies profiting from the docuseries.

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However, she claimed the documentary "inaccurately condenses" the timeline between raising money to reopen Pure Food and Wine for a second time and her disappearance with Anthony Strangis.

Additionally, she called the last phone call included in the documentary "disturbingly misleading", insisting that she is not currently "in touch" with her ex-husband. She added, "I made these recordings much earlier, deliberately, for a specific reason," but didn't go into detail.

Anthony Strangis and Sarma appeared to be flirting during a phone call in 2019

Throughout Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives., Netflix included several phone calls between the celebrity vegan chef and her ex-husband Anthony Strangis, who previously identified himself as Shane Fox.

During these conversations, viewers got a glimpse of their relationship and his frequent demands for unspecified sums of money. During the final minutes of the docuseries, a phone call between Melngailis and Strangis that took place 22 months after his four-month stint in prison confused viewers.

It started with Strangis telling his ex-wife that he missed her, to which she made a gagging sound. “That's my answer. You realize you have to come out of the meat suit and appear on a unicorn,” referring to the many lies she accused him of telling her throughout their relationship.

They continued to joke about his lies, with Strangis finally pointing out, "I can still make you laugh, so that's good. Her ex-husband then calls her the “smartest” and “prettiest” person he had met before they said goodnight and hung up.

'Bad Vegan' Director and Producer Explain Why They Included a Phone Call

The latest conversation rubbed many viewers the wrong way as it appeared Melgnailis was flirting with Strangis, whom she accused of cheating on her, emptying her business and ruining her life.

Therefore, they wondered if the two were still in contact or if it had more to do with stealing money from his restaurants. Director Chris Smith and producer Ryann Fraser clarified their reasons for including the encrypted phone call to Newsweek in a March 22 interview.

They claimed they had no intention of implying that Melngailis and Strangis are currently close or in contact. The two pointed out that the call took place in 2019, nearly two years after he was released from prison, and Strangis said he wanted to hear his voice.

Smith and Fraser noted that the two communicated frequently and "found Sarma to be confident and strong" on that call. He pointed out that her teasing about her lies meant "he had to show up on a unicorn for there to be a reconciliation." Bad vegan: fame. Fraud. Fugitives. is streaming on Netflix.