What. The. Eff.
Y’all remember Martin Shkreli? The hedge funder who bought the rights to a necessary AIDS medication and raised the price over 5,000%?? The so-called “Pharma Bro” stuck around as one of society’s most objectively awful people for a couple years, eventually being convicted in 2017 on fraud charges unrelated to that initial price hike. Shocking that someone who would gouge prices on life-saving medication for vulnerable people would ALSO flout the law, right?
Anyhoo, a couple years ago he popped up in the news AGAIN when a Bloomberg journalist covering his story FELL IN LOVE with him, confirming in December 2020 that she’d left her marriage and her job in order to date the federal prisoner. Then he dumped her shortly after when she gave an interview to Elle about it. And then she gave interviews about that.
That should have been the end of Christie Smythe‘s 15 minutes of fame, right?
Well, for some reason she kept talking about it. She’s slowly self-publishing a memoir about the relationship, short-lived though it might have been, on Substack. It’s called SMIRK. And over the weekend she gave yet another high-profile interview about the relationship. Spilling to the Sunday Times about the unusual situation, she admitted:
“I don’t think I was attracted to him initially. Well, maybe. It was more of a curiosity. I was not thinking about him as a romantic subject.”
No, she was a perfect professional. But his sheer animal magnetism did eventually cause her to leave her financier hubby and abandon her journalistic integrity to date him. She recalled:
“I was feeling extremely frustrated by having to keep everything bottled up. I was just, like, ‘Everyone is so worried about what? That I will fall in love with him?’ After that thought sunk in, I was like, ‘You know what, maybe I do love him — screw everyone.’”
Yes! Dating out of spite, always a great philosophy! Don’t let anyone tell YOU not to date a horrible vulture who makes money off of exploiting the vulnerabilities of sick people! Believe in yourself! You can do anything! LOLz!
Of course, she chose to see the good in Shkreli, saying he took her writing career seriously, something that was “very flattering.” She says while she wasn’t allowed to have sex with him — he was in prison their entire relationship, of course — they had great conversations about “books, science, pharmaceuticals, crypto, family, hopes and dreams.”
Can’t help but notice that “crypto” comes before “family” and “hopes and dreams.” Shocker. She told the paper:
“We were never at a loss for anything to say. We were always making each other laugh.”
Things really went wrong when the pandemic hit — and she was not longer able to visit him. She made due with telling Elle about the relationship — and getting dumped as a direct result. The cartoonish little villain of a man actually broke up with her by way of his comment to the magazine in their profile, saying through a rep:
“Mr Shkreli wishes Ms Smythe the best of luck in her future.”
Despite that, she continued to — and continues to — defend him!
As recently as Monday afternoon on social media she was blasting criticism of the relationship and of her latest interview — which she gave despite having a new boyfriend now. Yes, she’s moved on and yet… refuses to move on? We guess she’s in the camp that says no press is bad press? Hey, we can understand that part at least.
She’s actually going full martyr on Twitter though, saying the attacks on her choices are showing a lack of empathy to prisoners and their loved ones. She wrote:
“‘WHY does she keep telling this crazy story?’
Well, there is one good reason: There are millions people with loved ones in prison who face stigma, abuse, and all sorts of negatives just for caring about someone who committed a crime. That’s wrong. Full stop.”
She later added:
“And just to add: If you are trying to say my situation is ‘unique’ and not like all the others…no, it is not. Every story of someone with a loved one in prison is messy and complicated and unique in its own way. These are all individual, compelling HUMAN stories.”
LOLz, she literally interviewed him because of what he’d done. She went in, eyes open, with the context that this was someone doing great harm in the world. And she wants to make like he’s Jean Valjean. OK, gurl. You keep doing you. Good luck with the new relationship.