Journalist Christie Smythe Defends Love Affair With ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli
Former crime reporter for Bloomberg News, Christie Symthe, went public with her relationship with Martin Shkreli, also known as “Pharma Bro” after the biotech entrepreneur infamously raised a life-saving drug’s price up 5,000 percent.
In a profile in Elle magazine, published Sunday, Smythe revealed that it all began when at Shkreli’s 2017 court hearing, where he was found guilty of misleading investors over a pair of hedge funds he operated. Smythe sat in on the trial, reporting for Bloomberg.
“I fell down the rabbit hole,”she said. “I’m happy here. I feel like a have a purpose.”
After Smythe covered his investigation and arrest for law violations in 2015 at Bloomberg, she received an invitation from Shkreli for a face-to-face meeting. “You could see his earnestness. It just didn’t match this idea of a fraudster,” she recalled about the encounter. They continued to be friendly with each other after the meeting and kept in contact with each other, Smythe even wrote a book about him.
“Maybe I was being charmed by a master manipulator,” she said.
Shkreli was denied bail and was arrested in fall of 2017. She remembered not being able to sleep after this arrest and putting his needs before hers like asking Shkreli’s friends if he had all his medications and who was going to look after his cat after he was taken into custody.
Smythe quit her job at Bloomberg in 2018 after being warned about her supportive tweeting of Shkreli. Not long after, she divorced her husband. Since then, she frequently visits Shkreli in prison, where he is currently serving seven years for fraud charges. She even got a driver’s license after he was moved to a prison in Pennsylvania just to see him.
“I told Martin I loved him. And he told me he loved me, too,” she revealed about one prison visit. The pair then kissed around the aroma of “chicken wings.”
“It’s hard to think of a time when I felt happier,” she said. The pair have even discussed “thinking about a future together.” Smythe even had her eggs frozen in the possibility that they would both be too old to have kids when he’s released. Smythe call herself and Shkreli “life partners.”
It is reported that Shkreli stopped talking to Smythe after he found out about the article and released a statement saying that he “wished Ms. Smythe the best of luck in her future endeavors.”
“He bounces between this delight in having a future life together and this fatalism about how it will never work. It’s definitely in the later category now,” Smythe told Elle.
After the article’s publication, Smythe took to Twitter to defend going public with her relationship with Smythe.