Christie Smythe is a former Bloomberg News reporter who covered the Brooklyn federal court. Back in 2015, she broke the story of Martin Shkreli’s arrest, the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, who made headlines for increasing the cost of an anti-parasite pill from $13.50 to $750 — a 5,000% hike (via Daily Mail).
The story swept the internet and caught the eyes of politicians such as then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton who said, the “price gouging” was “outrageous” (via Elle). The CEO, dubbed “Pharmo Bro,” went to trial on charges of securities and wire fraud related to an $11 million Ponzi scheme (via New York Post).
Shkreli’s reputation preceded him, making it difficult to find neutral jurors; 134 of 178 were tossed because of their preconceived bias towards Shkreli, calling him a “snake,” “evil,” and “the face of corporate greed in America” (via New York Post).
So, how did one of the most-hated men in America win the heart of a journalist who broke the very news of his arrest?
Christie Smythe left her 'perfect little Brooklyn life' to date the convicted CEO
Martin Shkreli was sentenced to seven years in prison back in 2017, following a highly publicized trial (via New York Post). Christie Smythe — who told Elle that she had the “perfect little Brooklyn life” — decided to quit her job at Bloomberg News, divorce her husband, and began visiting Shkreli in prison. “I fell down the rabbit hole,” the former journalist told Elle of her decision to uproot her life for a man behind bars.
Smythe got her driver’s license so she could visit Shkreli in prison in Pennsylvania (via Daily Mail). She also decided to freeze her eggs, in case she is too old to have children with Shkreli when he is released from jail in September 2023. Smythe and Shkreli exchanged “I love you”s at the prison, telling Elle, “It’s hard to think of a time when I felt happier.”
Due to COVID-19 protocols at the prison, the pair hasn’t seen each other for over a year (via Elle). Shkreli was asked for a comment which read, “Mr. Shkreli wishes Ms. Smythe the best of luck in her future endeavors.” Smythe’s reaction? “That’s him saying, You’re going to live your life and we’re just gonna not be together. That I’m going to maybe get my book and that our paths will fork.”
Shkreli’s petition to get out early to do COVID-19 research was denied (via NBC News). Smythe told Elle that she will wait for him while he finishes the rest of his sentence.
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