A journalist who ended up falling in love with ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli, 37, claims to have quit her job and divorced her husband for him, despite him serving a seven year jail sentence until 2023.
Christie Smythe, 38, who was a reporter for Bloomberg, revealed details of her relationship with Shkreli to Elle magazine in which she tells how she upended her previously ‘perfect’ life for him.
‘I fell down the rabbit hole,’ Smythe told the magazine of her relationship with Shkreli who was jailed for scamming investors in hedge funds he ran.
‘I’m happy here. I feel like I have purpose,’ she said.
A former Bloomberg News reporter, Christie Smythe, 38, quit her job, divorced her husband, and froze her eggs for imprisoned former CEO Martin Shkreli
Martine Shkreli was sentenced to seven years in federal prison and up to $7.4 million in fines in 2017 on charges of securities fraud
Bloomberg News reporter Christie Smythe says she fell in love with the infamous ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli and left her husband and quit her job to be with him
But the pair have not been able to see one another for more than a year due to coronavirus safety protocols at the prison where Shkreli is being held.
Nevertheless, Smythe, who is from Kansas City, Missouri, has promised to wait for Shkreli, no matter what.
The pair first met in 2015 soon after she found out that he was under federal investigation for securities law violations.
Smythe, who was already married, was living ‘the perfect little Brooklyn life.’
But she decided to split from her husband and began visiting Shkreli in jail for several months and even learned how to drive so that she could visit him at the prison where he was being held at FCI Allenwood in Pennsylvania.
Smythe met Shkreli in 2015 when she began covering his trial for Bloomberg. It wasn’t until 2018 when she quit her job to fully commit to Shkreli. He is pictured here in 2017
Christie Smythe, 38, broke the news of Shkreli’s arrest on fraud charges in December 2015
Smythe then tells how she became more and more involved with Shkreli over the years describing it as ‘incremental decisions, where you’re, like, slowly boiling yourself to death in the bathtub.’
Shkreli was jailed in 2018 for looting $11million of stock from his own firm to pay investors in two failed hedge funds he ran. He was convicted of securities fraud in 2017.
His scheduled release date from a low-security federal prison is September 2023.
Smythe quit Bloomberg in the summer of 2018, over her connection to Shkreli.
She tells how soon after her departure, ‘I told Martin I loved him’.
‘He told me he loved me, too,’ Smythe said and the pair kissed.
She added: ‘It’s hard to think of a time when I felt happier.’
From her end, Smythe appears to be completely immersed in the relationship with the pair having gone so far as to discuss potential names for unborn children and even prenups.
Smythe claims to have frozen her eggs fearing she might be too old to have kids by the time Shkreli is finally out of jail in three years time.
When Shkreli found out she had been sharing details of the relationship to Elle, he abruptly severed all ties
Smyth says she has frozen her eggs and plans to wait for Shkreli’s release in 2023
Twitter users attempted to bring Smythe back down to earth.
‘Any person who raises the price of a life saving drug from $13.50 to $750 and then show absolutely no empathy concerning those who will no longer be able to afford it, and even smirks when asked about it, it a s psychopath. His actions are indefensible,’ wrote one person on Twitter.
‘I wasn’t in his life when that happened,’ responded Smythe. ‘I don’t approve of these kinds of price hikes. He is certainly far from the only one who did it though. It’s pervasive throughout the industry. And attacking him for it won’t fix the problem.’
Other Twitter users were more concerned for Smythe’s mental health.
‘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,’ wrote one.
‘I admire you for having the courage to tell your and Martin’s story. I can only imagine how hard it must be to stand in someone’s corner when the entire world hates them,’ added another.
The theme of mental health was also common among social media users.
‘Hi, I fell for a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder before, I know what you’re going through. Your wakeup will come. And it’ll be difficult and painful, you’ll wonder how you could have been so delusional, and hopefully in the end, you’ll find your way to full healing.’
‘Am I the only one who feels sorry for Christie Smythe? Hoping that she sorts through everything & ends up whole on the other side. Probably worst decision she made was cooperating with this article, as bad choices would have otherwise been lost to sands of time’ aired another Twitter user.
Many on social media did not take kindly to Smythe’s defense of Shkreli who gained notoriety after his company raised the price of an anti-parasite drug from $13.50 to $750
Several social media posts saw people sharing their concerns for Smythe’s mental health
Smythe took time to respond to many comments personally on Twitter throughout Sunday
Smythe tells how she decided someone needed to ‘stick their neck out’ over Shkreli
Smythe admits that not everyone has been behind the relationship, perhaps not surprisingly her ex-husband who believed Shkreli was ‘just using’ her and warned she was risking her journalistic reputation by ‘getting too sucked into this bad person.’
‘Maybe I was being charmed by a master manipulator,’ she ponders.
On Sunday Smythe tweeted how speaking out about the pair’s relationship was a weight off her mind.
‘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,’ she wrote.
‘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,’ she continued in another tweet.
News of Shkreli being in a relationship while incarcerated isn’t a complete surprise.
In April it was revealed he was engaged although no names were mentioned at the time.
Before getting entangled with one of the most hated people in the world, Smythe lived ‘the perfect little Brooklyn life’ with her dog and husband whom she divorced
His lawyers then attempted to get him released from the minimum-security prison where he would then ‘work on a cure for the coronavirus.’
Shkreli’s lawyer claimed that he has been conducting ‘significant research’ into developing molecules that inhibit a coronavirus protein.
The warden at the facility denied his request.
As for Smythe, it appears that the relationship appears to be rather one-sided.
When Shkreli was asked to comment on the outpouring of love from his supposed beau, the statement simply read: ‘Mr. Shkreli wishes Ms. Smythe the best of luck in her future endeavors.’
Smythe defended Shkreli’s words despite him having appeared to have cut all ties with her.
‘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 up,’ Smythe said.
One follower on Twitter asked her if she was concerned at Shkreli’s behavior.
‘How long since you talked to him? You don’t seem too upset or worried that he ghosted you,’ asked Frances Robles.
‘He does this. He gets mad and doesn’t talk for a while,’ Smythe responded.
Another questioned her motive for speaking out at the present time.
‘You’re enjoying the attention & it isn’t even positive attention. But you’re still enjoying it. Also if you really love him WHY would you divulge things to the very ppl who attack him most relentlessly (the press),’ one user asked.
‘It’s a good question. It wasn’t an easy decision. I became aware that good people were afraid to stick up for him. They cared about him, but were afraid of what would happen, the tweet storm, etc. I decided I wasn’t afraid, and he needed someone to stick their neck out,’ Smythe wrote.