In 1999 the marriage of Mike and Alma Baldwin broke up acrimoniously when it was revealed that Mike had slept with and fallen for the blackmail attempts of Julia Stone, a former prostitute, who had been put up to entice Mike by a vengeful Greg Kelly. Alma was livid when Mike viewed himself as the victim, not her, and she moved in with Audrey Roberts.

Alma started a platonic friendship with Ravi Desai while Mike fell for the "charms" of gold-digging Linda Sykes and started a full-blown affair with her. Finding out about this and unable to take a further betrayal, Alma took herself off for a three-week holiday in Spain. On her return she told Audrey and Gail Platt of a holiday romance she'd had with Anthony in Spain, feeling now reinvigorated and looking forward instead of back.