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The journalist who quit her job at Bloomberg and left her husband because she had fallen in love with ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli – only for him to dump her from prison – has admitted that ‘if he manipulated me, I’m glad it worked.’

Christie Smythe, who broke the story of Shkreli’s arrest for securities fraud back in 2015, penned an op ed for the New York Post where she confessed she ‘has a thing for complicated guys’ but branded the idea she was manipulated by the convicted fraudster ‘ridiculous.’

‘In the end, if it was all a manipulation – getting me to take charge of my life and write the narrative for myself – I’m glad it worked,’ she said.

Smythe, 39, who described herself as ‘happily’ divorced and no longer working in legacy media, also confirmed she and Shkreli, 38, are no longer romantically involved.

However, she insisted they are ‘still friends’ and that ‘a lifelong friendship seems probable’ when he is released from prison.  

The journalist who quit her job at Bloomberg and left her husband because she had fallen in love with 'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli has admitted that 'if he manipulated me, I'm glad it worked.' Pictured Shkreli and Christie Smythe

The journalist who quit her job at Bloomberg and left her husband because she had fallen in love with 'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli has admitted that 'if he manipulated me, I'm glad it worked.' Pictured Shkreli and Christie Smythe

The journalist who quit her job at Bloomberg and left her husband because she had fallen in love with ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli has admitted that ‘if he manipulated me, I’m glad it worked.’ Pictured Shkreli and Christie Smythe

Shkreli became known as the ‘most hated man in America’ after he bought up the rights to lifesaving AIDs drug Daraprim in 2014 and raised the price from $13.50 per pill to a staggering $750 per pill.

In 2018, he was sentenced to seven years in prison on an unrelated matter for lying to investors about the performance of two hedge funds he ran, withdrawing more money from those funds than he was entitled to get, and defrauding investors in a drug company, Retrophin, by hiding his ownership of some of its stock.

Smythe hit headlines in December when she announced in a bombshell interview with Elle that she had fallen in love with Shkreli while reporting on his white collar crimes as a journalist. 

She quit her job, left her husband and froze her eggs to be able to have a family with Shkreli on his release.  

But her public disclosure of their love affair appeared to anger her jailhouse lover who refused to speak to her and released a cutting statement saying he ‘wishes her well.’

The couple later reconciled – though Smythe said they are now just friends – and critics have long assumed the journalist was another victim of the master-manipulator’s ways.   

Smythe pushed back at the suggestion she had been manipulated by Shkreli in her op-ed, mocking the idea he has ‘magical coercive powers’. 

‘By far the most ridiculous notion people seemed to settle on was that I was somehow ‘manipulated’ by Martin into leaving my job and my husband for him, as though a guy who couldn’t avoid being a walking PR trainwreck had magical coercive powers,’ she wrote.

‘First things first: He does not.’ 

Shkreli branded the idea she was manipulated by the convicted fraudster 'by far the most ridiculous notion', mocking that he does not 'magical coercive powers'

Shkreli branded the idea she was manipulated by the convicted fraudster 'by far the most ridiculous notion', mocking that he does not 'magical coercive powers'

Shkreli branded the idea she was manipulated by the convicted fraudster ‘by far the most ridiculous notion’, mocking that he does not ‘magical coercive powers’

Smythe also confirmed she and Shkreli, 38, (pictured arriving at court in 2017) are no longer romantically involved

Smythe also confirmed she and Shkreli, 38, (pictured arriving at court in 2017) are no longer romantically involved

Smythe also confirmed she and Shkreli, 38, (pictured arriving at court in 2017) are no longer romantically involved

Smythe admitted that the convict ‘can be manipulative’ but insisted – unlike his previous girlfriends – she is ‘not really interested in free Jimmy Choos and handbags.’

‘There is certainly truth to stories that Martin can be manipulative,’ she wrote.

‘He’s highly intelligent, having taught himself biology and chemistry among other technical subjects, and can be highly entertaining and affable in conversation when he’s with someone he likes. 

‘Like most other human beings, he knows how to turn on his charm to get something he wants.’

Smythe continued: ‘While researching my book, I spoke to a number of his former girlfriends and learned how he plied them with things like jewels and expensive shoes, trips and other goodies to win their favor. 

‘I’m not really interested in free Jimmy Choos and handbags, though. Nor am I interested in transparently manipulative behavior.’

Rather than showering her with gifts, Smythe claimed Shkreli won ‘my favor’ by showing her ‘respect for my intellect and my abilities.’ 

‘If there was anything at all that Martin did to win my favor, it was offering a gift of a very different sort, one that is infinitely more valuable to me: He showed respect for my intellect and my abilities,’ she wrote. 

‘From the beginning of our interactions, I felt as though we genuinely connected. 

‘He asked for my opinion on significant matters, and seemed to take to heart many things I said.’

Smythe is pictured with her ex-husband. She hit headlines in December when she announced she had fallen in love with Shkreli, quit her job at Bloomberg, left her husband and frozen her eggs

Smythe is pictured with her ex-husband. She hit headlines in December when she announced she had fallen in love with Shkreli, quit her job at Bloomberg, left her husband and frozen her eggs

Smythe is pictured with her ex-husband. She hit headlines in December when she announced she had fallen in love with Shkreli, quit her job at Bloomberg, left her husband and frozen her eggs

Smythe said it was Shkreli who first encouraged her to write a book. 

She listened and took leave from Bloomberg to write a book – on Shkreli. 

Smythe claimed she was concerned in the beginning that his ‘flattering behavior’ was ‘some sort of ploy’.

But, after spending hours together during prison visits, she ‘realized our investment in each other was real’ and they ‘started to seep into each other’. 

Their relationship soon started making her think ‘more confidently about myself’ and ‘and more self-assured about creating my own destiny.’

She realized she wasn’t ‘satisfied’ with her marriage or her job and quit both, she said. 

Rather than being the sign of someone under a manipulative spell, Smythe insisted her decision to then go public with their romance was something she did for herself because she was ‘tired of hiding.’

She also knew, she wrote, that Shkreli would be unhappy with the move. 

‘When I went public in Elle, I knew Martin wouldn’t be pleased. The idea of splattering a personal relationship across the pages of a magazine horrified him,’ she wrote. 

Shkreli became known as the 'most hated man in America' after he bought up the rights to lifesaving AIDs drug Daraprim in 2014 and raised the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill

Shkreli became known as the 'most hated man in America' after he bought up the rights to lifesaving AIDs drug Daraprim in 2014 and raised the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill

Shkreli became known as the ‘most hated man in America’ after he bought up the rights to lifesaving AIDs drug Daraprim in 2014 and raised the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill 

Shkreli being arrested in 2015 on charges of securities fraud. He is scheduled for release in October 2022 after serving his seven-year prison sentence

Shkreli being arrested in 2015 on charges of securities fraud. He is scheduled for release in October 2022 after serving his seven-year prison sentence

Shkreli being arrested in 2015 on charges of securities fraud. He is scheduled for release in October 2022 after serving his seven-year prison sentence

‘But even his feelings, in that moment, took a back seat for me when it came to deciding what I wanted.’

Smythe said she is now happy and living in ‘a nicer apartment’ in Harlem and working for a startup called Thinknum.

‘I’m now (happily) divorced, (happily) no longer working in legacy media, and (happily) still friends with, although no longer the girlfriend of, Martin Shkreli,’ she wrote. 

She said she hopes their relationship will continue when he leaves prison but admitted she doesn’t think it could become romantic again.

‘I don’t know what will happen when Martin gets out of prison. It is my hope that he takes to heart some of the things we talked about and makes an earnest effort to apply himself to something good,’ she wrote. 

‘I do not imagine we would be ‘together’ in a romantic sense, but a lifelong friendship seems probable.’

Shkreli is scheduled for release in October 2022 after serving his seven-year prison sentence. 

At the time of his 2015 arrest for lying to investors, Shkreli was already notorious for hiking the price of Daraprim by 500 percent.

Daraprim is used to treat toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that can be fatal to people with the AIDS virus or other immune-system disorders including malaria and cancer.

He was also known for attacking critics on social media under the guise of ‘Pharma Bro’ and of putting a $5,000 bounty on a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair. 

Source: dailymail

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