The casts of “The Tinder Swindler” and “Bad Vegan” claim Netflix misrepresented male abuse and manipulation in their respective productions.

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The cast members of “The Tinder Swindler” and “Bad Vegan” believe Netflix misled them. The Tinder scammer, according to Cecilie Fjellhy, was a “threatening man,” but wasn’t depicted that way. Netflix, according to Sarma Melngailis of “Bad Vegan,” “made a joke” of her abuse. Morning Brew is read by more than 3 million people; you should join them ” “The Tinder Swindler” and “Bad Vegan: Fame: Fraud: Fugitives” “were enormous successes in 2022 for Netflix. However, the exposure has been a mixed blessing for the women whose experiences at the hands of deceitful men were made public to millions of viewers in the gripping scammer documentaries. It has been both a source of remorse and a reason for hope.

The so-called Tinder Swindler, Simon Leviev (actual name Shimon Hayut), conned Cecilie Fjellhy in a well-known romantic con.

She fell in love with Leviev, who she lost all of her money to after months of financial and mental torture, and he is a “dangerous man,” according to Fjellhy.

She went to the police, who basically laughed at her when she explained what was happening—that her lover was running a Ponzi scheme intended to defraud women of tens of thousands of dollars.

She turned to the media in her native Norway, and her tale quickly gained popularity. It was picked up by the renowned London production firm Raw Films, which transformed it into the Netflix hit docuseries “The Tinder Swindler.”

It is only another account of how foolishly in love we were. According to Fjellhy, an objective documentary was what she desired.

“I was curious as to why it was so difficult to apprehend this person. To understand why this scam was so easy for him to commit and why the police aren’t acting quickly enough. I wanted the movie to provide answers to those important questions.”

“I was therefore really sad to learn that it would not be like that. Another example of how foolishly in love we were, “She spoke.
Even referring to it as the “Tinder Swindler,” she claimed, “it just was branded from the start.” Simply put, “Things made it feel less serious.”
In contrast to the heinous atrocities committed by Leviev, Fjellhy claimed that Netflix concentrated on the ways in which the ladies were duped.

” alt=’Sarma Melngailis, co-author during “RAW FOOD/real world” Book Launch Celebration at Pure Food and Wine in New York City, New York, United States.’>

Melngailis popularized raw vegan cuisine. In 2004, when her Pure Food and Wine restaurant in New York City first debuted, plant-based eating began to gain popularity among celebrities and the wealthy.

New York Magazine review said that her mango and Thai basil salad had “as much tropical sunniness as one bowl can carry,” which attracted celebrities to her eatery.

Melngailis was praised for her successful business initiative. She later encountered her abuser.
“Bad Vegan,” a Netflix documentary directed by Chris Smith of “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened” fame, tracked Melngailis’ rise and public collapse.
She wasn’t somewhere to be located in Melngailis’ businesses collapsed in 2015 after her unpaid staff walked out, .
Her coworkers, acquaintances, and associates were perplexed and incensed; how could this lady destroy everything she had laboriously built?
She was being physically, sexually, emotionally, and financially assaulted behind closed doors, Melngailis said to Insider.
Anthony Strangis, her business partner, tricked her into taking $2 million from her investors and staff.

In 2016, the couple went missing and were later discovered ordering pizza in a hotel room in Tennessee. Melngailis accepted a plea bargain in 2017 and pled guilty to criminal tax fraud, grand larceny, and premeditated fraud. He spent the summer of 2017 serving a four-month sentence at Rikers Island.

She was incarcerated for four months, while Strangis was detained for almost a year.
NETFLIX FELT LIKE IT WAS MOCKING MELNGAILIS

” alt=”Sarma Melngailis’ dog Leon”>

Even Melngailis claimed that she didn’t fully comprehend Strangis’s actions. He was able to get my consciousness to latch onto these ideas as possibilities rather than having me totally convinced of them, and the more I imagined them, the more away from reality I became.

“What I do know, she added, “is that this kind of manipulation abuse is truly so much more widespread than we realize. Therefore, Netflix’s decision to launch that campaign was a slap in the face to many individuals who have experienced such abuse. It served to support the notion that he couldn’t be real and that we are the crazy ones.”

The request for response from Insider was not answered by Netflix.

Director Chris Smith previously responded when asked by The Guardian if the program was fair to Melngailis, “Look, everything has shades of grey.”

We made an effort to portray it as precisely as possible using the data we received from the documents that was provided to us and the interview.

THE REVENUE IS GIVEN TO NETFLIX Netflix has found that romantic con games and con artist documentaries in general are highly profitable.

The week they debuted, “Bad Vegan” and “The Tinder Swindler” were both among the ten most watched shows, according to according to Netflix data. .

The actors, however, asserted that having their narrative published doesn’t make up for their financial losses. They claimed that the money received for the rights to their stories wasn’t enough to pay off their debts.

For all the criticism and hatred Melngailis received after the documentary aired, which she attributes to the framing of the show, she claimed it wasn’t worth it. She said, “They made my life harder and put me through more crap.”

After appearing in a well-liked and significant Netflix documentary, “everyone is thinking that we’re billionaires now,” Fjellhy told Insider.

director Chris Smith told The Guardian : “Bad Vegan,” “Look, everything is gray. We made an effort to portray it as truthfully as we could based on the data we received from the material that was provided to us and the interview.”

HEROINES FROM SCAM VICTIMS Melngailis, Fjellhy, and Ayleen Charlotte, three more of Simon Leviev’s victims, told Insider they were thankful for the chance to assist people in improving the lives of scam victims globally.

Fjellhy claimed that despite the difficulties that have resulted from both the hoax and the fallout from the documentary, it was “worth it” for the love she has also experienced.

She added that many have told her she has helped them get over their embarrassment about being the victim of a scam. “I’ve gotten so many comments saying I’m inspiring and I’m strong, and they really admire the courage that’s taken, which has made it much more worth it,” she said.

According to Charlotte, the “bad bitch” victim of “The Tinder Swindler,” the documentary was a good experience for her.

“Because nothing had been done in my case, I wanted to put his face in the public eye. Second, I wish to assist others. That’s what I did as well. I mean, I received a ton of incredible messages from people all around the world, and I also gave a lot of people a lot of bravery for what I did, “Charlotte spoke with Insider.

Melngailis agreed that “one of the things that I’ve heard over and over again it is typically women but occasionally guys but people who have been exploited in some type of similar way feel less alone,” even if she continued to criticize Netflix.

“Numerous others have also told me that seeing it prompted them to consider becoming or moving toward being vegan. So at least that’s wonderful! possibly a few animals spared “She said, sending a winking emoji as her final email message.

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