Journalist Reveals How She Fell In Love With Jailed Fraudster While Covering His Story
A journalist Christie Smythe has revealed how she fell in love with a jailed former pharmaceutical executive dubbed “the most hated man in America” after covering his arrest.
In a love story that has gripped social media, Smythe quit her job, divorced her husband and even froze her eggs in the hope of having children with the convicted fraudster Martin Shkreli when he is freed from the jail.
The former Bloomberg News reporter Christie Smythe, 38, told Elle magazine in an article published Sunday that she left her husband for Shkreli, who is serving seven years in prison for defrauding investors.
“I fell down the rabbit hole, I’m happy here. I feel like I have purpose,” Smythe told Elle.
Several US media commented on the tale Monday, with some accusing her of violating journalistic ethics, and others praising her for telling her story.
Smythe met Shkreli in 2015 while covering his trial for fraud. Shkreli was dubbed “the most hated man in the America” after hiking the price of Aids drug Daraprim by nearly 5,000 per cent (from US$13.50 to $750 per pill). He was convicted in 2017 and sentenced to seven years in federal prison.
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.”
He had smirked through a congressional hearing that scrutinized his actions, becoming known as “Pharma Bro.”
Smythe 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.
Smythe sat in the Brooklyn court throughout his trial and was there for his sentence in 2018. She described to Elle how she gradually fell in love with him during visits to see him in prison.
“I told Martin I loved him. And he told me he loved me, too,” Smythe said, recalling one particular visit.
“It’s hard to think of a time when I felt happier,” the magazine quoted her as saying.
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. She also mentions that they may try to have children.
“Going public is such a relief, no matter what people think,” Smythe tweeted late Sunday. “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.”
During Shkreli’s trial, his lawyer had described him as a mildly autistic, self-taught genius. 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.