Women Just Can't Help Themselves When It Comes To Bad Boys...


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The Journalist and the Pharma Bro


Why did Christie Smythe upend her life and stability for Martin Shkreli, one of the least-liked men in the world?

Almost every weekday for six years, Christie Smythe took the F train from Park Slope downtown to her desk at Brooklyn’s federal court, in a pressroom hidden on the far side of a snack bar. Smythe, who covered white-collar crime for Bloomberg News, wore mostly black and gray, and usually skipped makeup. She and her husband, who worked in finance, spent their free time cooking, walking Smythe’s rescue dog, and going on literary pub crawls. “We had the perfect little Brooklyn life,” Smythe says.

Then she chucked it all.

Over the course of nine months, beginning in July 2018, Smythe quit her job, moved out of the apartment, and divorced her husband. What could cause the sensible Smythe to turn her life upside down? She fell in love with a defendant whose case she not only covered, but broke the news of his arrest. It was a scoop that ignited the Internet, because her love interest, now life partner, is not just any defendant, but Martin Shkreli: the so-called “Pharma Bro” and online provocateur, who increased the price of a lifesaving drug by 5,000 percent overnight and made headlines for buying a one-off Wu-Tang Clan album for a reported $2 million. Shkreli, convicted of fraud in 2017, is now serving seven years in prison.

“I fell down the rabbit hole,” Smythe tells me, sitting in her bright basement apartment in Harlem, speaking publicly about her romance with Shkreli for the first time. The relationship has made her completely rethink her earlier work covering the courts, and as she looks back on all of the little decisions she made that caused this giant break in her life, she says she has no regrets: “I’m happy here. I feel like I have purpose.”

The Journalist and the Pharma Bro (elle.com)


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Christie Smythe revealed her romantic relationship with the much-scorned Martin Shkreli in an Elle magazine exclusive posted on Sunday, but her relentless tweets since its publication further detail their (according to her) unconsummated affair. While she has defended herself, and him, she has also started to seemingly come around to the idea he was using her. :D:D:D

Martin Shkreli speaks to the press after the jury issued a verdict in his securities fraud case at the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of New York, August 4, 2017, in Brooklyn, New York City.

Controversy has long followed Shkreli, who bought an AIDS treatment drug's manufacturing patent and abruptly increased its price by over 5,000 percent. In August 2017, he was convicted of defrauding investors in an alleged $11 million Ponzi scheme and is currently serving a seven-year sentence behind bars. He's also been accused of harassing two women reporters after buying URLs with their names in them and offering to sell the domains for $12,000.

Yet, Smythe claims she saw a different said to the villain-to-many dubbed "Pharma Bro." After the article dropped, she spent most of Sunday night and Monday tweeting out that Shkreli—who once infamously bought an exclusive Wu-Tang Clan album for a reported $2 million—was not a "psychopath" and had even uncovered a promising COVID-19 treatment, but "the government called him 'delusional'" rather than seek his help.

The Elle story also revealed that Smythe had left her husband and quit her job at Bloomberg, where she had been extensively covering Shkreli's case, to be with the convicted felon. Smythe defended her actions on Sunday, tweeting that "a woman can choose to do something with her life (which does not affect you) that you in no way approve of. But that's OK."

I realize it's hard for many people to accept that 1. Martin is not a psychopath, and 2. a woman can choose to do something with her life (which does not affect you) that you in no way approve of. But that's OK.
— Christie Smythe (@ChristieSmythe) December 21, 2020
When one person wrote that Shkreli was suffering from a narcissistic personality disorder and that she would soon come to this realization, Smythe responded:

I've lived in New York for 12 years. I've seen (and dated) far more narcissistic people than Martin. https://t.co/aUex07xaqj
— Christie Smythe (@ChristieSmythe) December 21, 2020
One commenter wrote:
"I think I can speak for just about everyone reading this story. THE ABSOLUTE LAST THING anyone is thinking about is the guy in prison.
Instead- it is absolute concern about your mental/emotional state and the hope you will get help."

"That's sweet. But the first thing I'm thinking about are all of the inmates at risk of catching covid, which is tearing through our prisons like wildfire, with the government doing next to nothing about it. Let's start there. https://t.co/4b82QEoZAF
— Christie Smythe (@ChristieSmythe) December 21, 2020
One person admitted feeling sorry for Smythe and expressed that perhaps going public about the whole ordeal wasn't necessarily the best idea. They also tweeted: "Hoping that she sorts through everything & ends up whole on other side."

Going public is such a relief, no matter what people think. 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. https://t.co/bJFPDG4lw6
— Christie Smythe (@ChristieSmythe) December 21, 2020
Smythe's tweets and engaging in responses to others' messages continued on.
When one person questioned her journalism ethics by claiming she had slept with one of her sources, she reiterated that
"I categorically have never slept with Martin, and did not engage in romantic interactions with him of any sort while covering him as a journalist."

One of her Smythe's final tweets of Monday night, aside from touching more on prison reform and the danger COVID-19 infections present inside jails and prisons, was at least somewhat acknowledging that perhaps she herself was duped by Shkreli. This came after a fellow journalist, Heidi N. Moore, tweeted the following to Smythe:
"It may be useful to consider that he didn't want this attention because it's for *you*, not him.
He's been benefitting from your work, your defending him, your admiration all along.
When you weren't helping *his* image, and had your own, he cut out. It's not your fault. It's his."

"Interesting point..." was Smythe's simple response that spoke volumes.

Interesting point... https://t.co/DMYw58TnJX
— Christie Smythe (@ChristieSmythe) December 21, 2020​