Journalist’s story of falling in love with ‘most hated man’ goes viral

A ex-Bloomberg journalist has revealed how she fell for a jailed former pharmaceutical executive dubbed “the most hated man in America” after covering his arrest, in a love story that gripped social media Monday.

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Journalist Christie Smythe told Elle magazine in an article published Sunday that she left her husband for Martin Shkreli, who is serving seven years in prison for defrauding investors.

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Several US media commented on the tale Monday, with some accusing her of violating journalistic ethics, and others praising her for telling her story.

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Shkreli, who once led Turing Pharmaceuticals, became infamous for suddenly raising the price of the drug Daraprim in 2015 by 5,000 percent – from $13.50 a pill to $750.

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He also drew attention in 2015 when he purchased for $2 million the sole edition of an album by rappers Wu-Tang Clan titled “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.”

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He had smirked through a congressional hearing that scrutinized his actions, becoming known as “Pharma Bro.”

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Smythe, 37, had helped break the news of Shkreli’s arrest on securities fraud in December 2015. The earlier drug controversy had nothing to do with the charges.

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Smythe sat in the Brooklyn court throughout his trial and was there for his sentence in 2018.

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She described to Elle how she gradually fell in love with him during visits to see him in prison.

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“I told Martin I loved him. And he told me he loved me, too,” Smythe said, recalling one particular visit.

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“It’s hard to think of a time when I felt happier,” the magazine quoted her as saying.

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Smythe, who left Bloomberg in 2018 and got divorced from her husband in 2019, said she would wait for Shkreli while he serves the remaining three years of his sentence.

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She also mentions that they may try to have children.

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“Going public is such a relief, no matter what people think,” Smythe tweeted late Sunday.

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“You have no idea how hard it is to keep this kind of a story bottled up. So messy and complicated. I’m glad it was told well,” she added.

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During Shkreli’s trial, his lawyer had described him as a mildly autistic, self-taught genius.

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Shkreli had earlier had his bail revoked after he offered a reward for anyone who would grab a strand of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s hair. He insisted it was a joke.

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