If you've heard of Martin Shkreli, odds are you've heard of Christie Smythe.
If not, let me regale you with this pickme story.
Martin Shkreli was a successful hedge fund manager who made the wrong move of raising the price of the drug Daraprim by 5,455% and going to prison for a couple years. He has a large following on the internet for his use of memes and general sense of humor. He livestreamed his 33rd birthday online, alone.
Christie Smythe is a journalist. In 2016, she was working for Bloomberg where she started covering stories about Shkreli.
Lets follow this trail of intrigue through the Elle magazine interview that caused Smythe to divorce her husband and quit her job for Shkreli:
“You could see his earnestness,” Smythe says. “It just didn’t match this idea of a fraudster.”
“he kept toying with me for a while,”
Shkreli was looking for a new lawyer and asked her for advice. She felt flattered
He sounded “ragged and fragile, and I got concerned he would commit suicide
Through the summer, Shkreli kept up his game of cat and mouse, offering Smythe tantalizing hints about evidence, then ghosting her for weeks over some perceived offense.
But the judge jailed Shkreli... The minute she left the courtroom, Smythe texted and emailed Shkreli’s friends, asking if he had his medications and arranging for someone to retrieve his cat.
He's just using you,"Smythe’s husband had told her early on
Hartley, who was a bridesmaid at Smythe’s wedding... figured Smythe just had a little crush.
“He trolls because he’s anxious,” she tells me, and “he really, really wants to be somebody.” She began defending him publicly
Smythe wasn’t covering the trial for Bloomberg, but she was there in the courtroom every day, sometimes sitting with Shkreli’s supporters
That spring, she wrote about Shkreli for a class, “describing how manipulative he was to reporters,” says her professor, Michael Shapiro. She wrote “quite candidly about how he had so successfully drawn her in.
The ending paragraph from the Elle magazine interview of Smythe: