Former Bloomberg journalist Christie Smythe is ready to get back to dating after being dumped by ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli.
Smythe said she’s moving on after Shkreli ‘basically dumped me through his lawyers’ in a comment to Elle magazine, in which she professed her love for the convicted prisoner in an article published Sunday.
The reporter continued to defend her infatuation with Shkreli online and defended him as ‘not a psychopath’ after the article went viral but by Monday had decided she had had enough.
‘I’m definitely open to’ dating,’ Smythe said Monday. ‘I have been basically celibate for two years. I’m not going to sit around and wait.’
Smythe quit her job and left her husband to be with Shkreli, despite him being in prison until 2023, after falling in love with him while covering his white collar crimes for work before being left in the cold by him.’
‘Mr. Shkreli wishes Ms. Smythe the best of luck in her future endeavors,’ read a statement from Shkreli’s lawyer in the Elle piece.
‘It’s similar to getting fired by a CEO,’ Smythe said. ‘It was heartbreaking and really sad.’
Former Bloomberg reporter Christie Smythe was out in public on Monday for the first time since an article was published detailing her relationship with Martin Shkreli
Smythe wore a shirt that said ‘Be Kind’ as her romance with Martin Shkreli went public
She was also walking her dog and talking about the next steps in her dating life
Still, Smythe hasn’t lost all hope of a future love match even if she’s hitting the dating market.
‘I’m here in the sense that I care for him. I love him,’ Smythe said about Shkreli when she was spotted walking her dog Monday in a shirt that read ‘Be Kind.’
‘I’d be interested in seeing if we can make some kind of future work, if that’s what he wants to do.’
Smythe did clarify the timeline of their relationship, saying ‘I want to be as crystal-clear as possible: I have not slept with him. I didn’t engage in any romantic interactions with him until I was done with Bloomberg.’
Smythe, 38, says she was living the ‘perfect little Brooklyn life’ with her financier husband until she started covering Shkreli for work in early 2015, when she broke the news of his arrest for securities fraud.
He had been charged with running a pyramid scheme to prop up his pharma empire and was already known as one of the most hated men in America for jacking up the price of a life-saving AIDS drug from $13.50 to $750.
Despite his reputation and crimes, Smythe says she fell hopelessly in love over the next few years while getting closer to him.
She shared details of their romance in Elle on Sunday after being cut off by Shkreli who, in a statement, said he ‘wishes her well.’
Even his own lawyer, Ben Brafman, said the relationship was not a good one. Smythe’s ex-husband warned her he was manipulating her and her bosses at Bloomberg told her she’d lost her professional impartiality but she persisted with their relationship, visiting him in prison and defending him on Twitter, until it finally turned romantic after he was sentenced in 2018.
Since then, she says she has frozen her eggs to be able to have a family with Shkreli, 37, when he gets out of prison. They’ve never slept together and have only been able to hug or kiss briefly in prison. Smythe also hasn’t been able to see him for more than a year but she previously said she is ‘happier than ever’ and willing to wait for him – even though he isn’t speaking to her.
‘I fell down the rabbit hole. I’m happy here. I feel like I have purpose,’ she said.
Approached by DailyMail.com on Monday, Smythe’s ex-husband, Pimco executive Devin Arcoleo, 36, declined to comment and would not say whether she had given him any prior warning of her decision to make their messy split public.
He said, ‘No I have nothing I want to share thank you.’
A former Bloomberg News reporter, Christie Smythe, 38, quit her job, divorced her husband, and froze her eggs for imprisoned former CEO Martin Shkreli
Martin 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
Shkreli and Smythe first met in 2015 soon after she found out that he was under federal investigation for securities law violations.
She had been told by a source that he was under investigation. When she called him for a comment, he told her she didn’t know what she was talking about, she says.
Then, after his arrest, he contacted her when he’d been bailed out of jail.
Smythe (on her wedding day) said she was living a ‘perfect Brooklyn life’ with her ex-husband, Pimco executive Devin Arcoleo, 36, until she encountered Shkreli
She says he told her: ‘I should have listened to you.’
They met in person four days later and she hoped to put together a profile on him for Bloomberg.
He came armed with spreadsheets showing, he claimed, where his investors’ money had gone.
‘You could see his earnestness. It just didn’t match this idea of a fraudster,’ she told Elle.
For weeks afterwards, she says he ‘toyed’ with her by promising an on-the-record interview only to give one to one of her competitors afterwards.
Eventually, he called asking for her advice because he needed a new lawyer.
She said she was flattered.
‘It really felt like he didn’t have anybody to talk to that he could bounce ideas off of.
‘I was like, “All right. I guess I can do that.”‘ He sounded ‘ragged and fragile, and I got concerned he would commit suicide because all this stuff was all happening at once,’ she said.
She was so convinced he was suicidal that she prepared an obituary to publish, she said.
They met again at a wine bar near his Murray Hill apartment where, she says, they bonded over their childhoods and the fact that neither of them went to Ivy League schools.
She then wrote a paper for a class she was taking at Columbia where she described being drawn in by him and how he manipulated reporters to his advantage. Her professor told her, she says, that the lines had become too muddied for her to be impartial in her reporting of her case.
Smythe is pictured with her ex-husband. They started going to couples counseling when she began working on stories about Shkreli. Her husband warned her Shkreli was using her
‘Maybe I was being charmed by a master manipulator,’ she said.
Nonetheless, she decided she wanted to write a book about him. In 2017, she drafted a proposal.
He then invited her to hear him speak at an event where he complimented her on stage, saying: ‘Even if you find an honest reporter—I made friends with one, she’s here right now.’
She recalls how afterwards, they were in a bar drinking with some of the audience members who had come to hear him speak, when he went to the bathroom.
She stepped in to entertain the crowd. ‘It almost felt like I was a political wife,’ she said.
Shkreli’s trial began in 2017. By then, Smythe had taken book leave from Bloomberg.
She went to court every day to watch the trial and sometimes sat with his supporters, she claims, to gain an understanding of who they were for her book.
While he ‘trolled’ other reporters, including The New York Post’s Emily Saul, Smythe fell deeper for him.
‘He trolls because he’s anxious and he really, really wants to be somebody,’ she said.
Before he was convicted, the pair spent time together at his apartment. She claims it was ‘for research.’
Even her husband warned her: ‘He is just using you.’ He also said she was risking her professional reputation by ‘getting too sucked into this bad person.’
Smythe started advocating for Shkreli on social media. She ended up quitting Bloomberg when her editors said there was a conflict of interest
Shkreli’s lawyer Brafman told
‘My suspicion was, yes, that there was a relationship.
‘Let’s just say that I talked to him about it and tried to explain that this relationship with a journalist who was essentially writing a book about the trial, a book about him, was not a great idea.
‘But you know, I was his lawyer. I wasn’t his guardian. Martin is a man of his own mind. … [He] was indeed a complicated young man, and that’s an understatement.
‘Most geniuses are,’ he said.
Shkreli was on bail when he tweeted offering followers $5,000 for a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair. The judge revoked his bond and put him in custody.
Smythe had resumed working for Bloomberg by then. When he was jailed, she immediately texted his friends asking them if he’d taken his medications and trying to arrange for someone to look after his cat. She then filed a story on it.
Her editors at Bloomberg say they were unaware of how close she had become to Shkreli.
‘Ms. Smythe’s editors did not know about these actions. Had they been aware of them at the time, at a minimum, she would have been immediately taken off the beat,’ a spokesman said.
She then went to visit him in jail and bought $30 of snacks from the vending machine because she didn’t know what he would like.
She ended up heating up a hamburger for him in the microwave.
In court, prosecutors read out some of their communications. She said it was only then that she realized she had become ‘part of the story.’
She told her editors she could no longer cover the trial for Bloomberg but continued going to court and trying to sell the movie rights to her book, which publishers had passed on by this point.
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
She remembers dashing around the courtroom to greet people, claiming she felt like she was ‘giving a dinner party.’
After he was sentenced to seven years, she kept visiting him in prison and acting as an ‘advocate’ for him online. She defended him on Twitter so much that her editors hauled her in for a meeting.
She quit, agreeing that she could no longer be impartial.
She and her husband also decided that year to part ways. She does not attribute their divorce entirely to Shkreli but says: ‘I’m not going to say it was wrong for him to be concerned.’
She continued visiting Shkreli but insists nothing physical had happened between them until then.
Then, in the visitors room, she told him she loved him.
‘I told Martin I loved him. And he told me he loved me, too,’ she said. She then asked if she could kiss him and he said yes.
Since then, they have discussed prenuptial agreements and she says she has frozen her eggs to be able to have kids with him when he gets out.
When he found out she was discussing their romance publicly, he stopped communicating with her.
His scheduled release date from a low-security federal prison is September 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 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
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.’
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.
Several social media posts saw people sharing their concerns for Smythe’s mental health
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.