How Alec Baldwin Ties Into The Strange Bad Vegan Story

Before online dating apps like Tinder became a thing, potential partners supposedly met on Twitter. Or, that's what happened in the case of Sarma Melngailis, at least. Before she met her infamous beau, Anthony Strangis (or Shane Fox as he first went by on Twitter), the vegan queen was running one of the hottest restaurants in New York City: Pure Food and Wine. According to Distractify, the glamorous vegan restaurant was popular among celebs and boasted the likes of Woody Allen, Tom Brady, and Owen Wilson as regular patrons.

While most went for plant-based lasagnas and ritzy cocktails, a certain celeb was a little more tied into what later turned out to be the story of a million-dollar fraud. In Netflix's new true-crime docuseries "Bad Vegan: Frame. Fraud. Fugitives," Melngailis and Vanity Fair's Allen Salkin spill all, and Salkin confirms that Baldwin did in fact first meet his wife Hilaria while dining at Pure Food and Wine.

However, it turns out, Baldwin was more involved in the "Bad Vegan" story than just bumping into his future wife at Melngailis' restaurant. Salkin even says that from what he made of the actor's relationship with the Pure Food and Wine owner, it seemed that "like a lot of the gentlemen who went there, he [Baldwin] had a bit of a crush on Sarma."

Sarma Melngailis regrets not taking things further with Alec Baldwin

In the four-part series, Sarma Melngailis says that after she met Alec Baldwin at the restaurant, they exchanged several emails and phone calls. Later, the actor told her that he wanted someone important in his life, and Melngailis suggested that he adopt a dog, according to Vanity Fair. The restaurant owner did confess in the first episode of "Bad Vegan," however, that she has a "little bit of regret" for not taking things further with Baldwin. By the time she had broken up with her then-boyfriend and was ready to date again, Baldwin had already met his future wife, Hilaria.

Melngailis was going through a spell of loneliness when she noticed a series of humorous tweets exchanging between Baldwin and Shane Fox (Anthony Strangis' alias). Assuming that the two knew each other somehow, Melngailis pursued a conversion with Fox and later, fell in love with him. Some say this was the beginning of the notorious scandal. The Vanity Fair article indicates that Hilaria Baldwin was also part of the odd Twitter situation with "Fox." Later, Melngailis claimed that Strangis had been using Twitter to trap someone of importance from Baldwin's circle into his scam. 

To make things even more bizarre, Strangis took Melngailis house-hunting in New York through the same broker who had sold Baldwin his apartment, making the connection seem more credible. Whether or not there was an actual connection between Baldwin and Strangis is unclear.