‘Bad Vegan’ Subject Sarma Melngailis Insists That She Didn’t Keep Any Money From The Netflix Doc For Herself

(Bad Vegan spoilers will be found below, obviously.)

Bad Vegan is Netflix’s latest in a line of scammer-focused documentaries, and it might be the most WTF-Is-Going-On selection of them all. Yup, it’s hard to believe that a Wharton-economics-educated, wildly successful restauranteur decided to funnel over a million dollars into a fugitive life full of casinos and promises of dog immortality. Sarma Melngailis completely fell from grace when she decided to get involved with someone that seemed completely sketchy, but she was somehow wooed by his Alec Baldwin “Twitter” connection, which also made zero sense. Nonetheless, the story is a “true” one, even if Sarma may have known more than she indicated on camera.

One thing that did stick with viewers, though, is that Sarma never apologized to her Pure Wine and Food and One Lucky Duck employees. They went without pay for weeks while she lied about transferring banks and all those grifting things that grifters do. Well, Sarma wants everyone to know that, in addition to paying her debt to society (4 months on Rikers Island), she also paid her employees back. PEOPLE reports that Sarma insisted upon being paid for Bad Vegan, but she didn’t keep that money for herself. Rather, she says that the money went to her jilted employees:

“It’s standard practice – to say nothing of journalistic integrity — that subjects do not get paid for participation in documentaries, at least not the reputable ones. In my case, however, and at my insistence, the producers made an exception so that I could pay the total amount my former employees were owed — amounts that accrued after my disappearance in 2015.”

Sarma says that this issue “weighed heaviest” among the rest of her “many debts resulting from my downfall.” And perhaps that will soften some of the blow that Sarma says she has experienced on Twitter. She’s detailing those thoughts over on Instagram, which she says has shown her more kindness. And she’s posting photos of her beloved (but not immortal) pit bull there, too.