Is “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli’s romance real, or is it a publicity stunt?
Martin Shkreli, better known as “Pharma Bro”, has become popular for all the wrong reasons. He notoriously increased the cost of Daraprim from $13 dollars a pill to over $700 dollars overnight, garnering himself a horrible reputation for it and earning himself his infamous moniker.
Far from trying to clean his image, Martin Shkreli continued making questionable decisions which, if not as damaging as increasing the price of a medicine used in HIV patients, helped him keep his cold-hearted capitalist image. For instance, he also gained notoriety for purchasing the only copy of Wu-Tang Clan’s album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin even though he doesn’t seem to care about listening to it at all.
Three years ago, Martin Shkreli was sentenced to seven years in prison and has been serving time ever since. However, Pharma Bro’s managed to gain the public’s attention again after his presumed partner came forward with the story about their relationship recently. Here’s what we know of the romance between Christie Smythe & Martin Shkreli.
How Smythe met Shkreli
Christie Smythe used to work as a journalist for Bloomberg News. She had a husband who worked in finance and lived with him & their dog in an apartment in Brooklyn. However, Smythe’s life took a drastic turn back in July 2018 as she started covering the case of Martin Shkreli.
Smythe was the first one to cover Martin Shkreli news, back when he wasn’t a public figure. Even though her story didn’t stir the investigation, it eventually became crucial for both Smythe & Shkreli. Smythe originally contacted Shkreli about a federal investigation being conducted against him. Martin Shkreli agreed to meet up with Christie Smythe, but he denied knowing anything about any investigation.
Eventually, when the federal investigation against Martin Shkreli moved forward, he allegedly contacted Christie Smythe to admit he should’ve listened to her – then he asked her for lawyer recommendations. Smythe reported she was flattered, claiming Martin Shkreli entered her good graces then because he’d asked for her help.
How Smythe fell for Shkreli
According to Christie Smythe, Martin Shkreli started to contact her about his case and gave her permission to report exclusive evidence from him. However, he would usually disappear for months after meeting with Smythe, only to reappear after a while offering new exclusive information.
Christie Smythe reported the events to Elle Magazine, going into detail about how she would feel manipulated by the way he withheld the information from her. This behavior even caught the attention of Smythe’s professors who warned her about his possibly insidious M.O.
After being convicted, Martin Shkreli started receiving visits from Christie Smythe – allegedly, these visits escalated into their relationship. Smythe recalled going as far as learning how to drive just to visit him, even though she suffers from anxiety and said she usually dreads even thinking about driving.
Smythe also mentioned having lengthy conversations with Martin Shkreli about a variety of topics, eventually leading Pharma Bro to ask if he could call Smythe his girlfriend. This snowballed into them discussing a future together so seriously, she even froze her eggs so they could have kids when he came out of prison.
Could it all be fake?
Recently, Christie Smythe reported Martin Shkreli ended their relationship via lawyers. Apparently, he stopped contacting her after she shared their story in Elle and broke up with her.
Smythe has constantly tried to show a nicer side to Pharma Bro. She’s commented on Martin Shkreli’s background as a son of Albanian immigrants who worked as janitors and on the way he’s suffered in prison – she’s even expressed he’s only behaved the way he has in court because he’s anxious.
Christie Smythe made a constant effort to portray Martin Shkreli in the best possible way. Smythe’s account might be true, but it doesn’t seem to be enough to clean Shkreli’s reputation. So far, the way she insisted on showing a better side of Pharma Bro is so inconsistent with what we’ve seen of him, that it feels like a publicity stunt to clear his image and, so far, it doesn’t seem to be working.
Do you think there’s a soft side to Pharma Bro? Let us know in the comments!