The Journalist and the Pharma Bro

 
 
Why did Christie Smythe upend her life and stability for Martin Shkreli, one of the least-liked men in the world?
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The Journalist and the Pharma Bro
 
Almost every weekday for six years, Christie Smythe took the F train from Park Slope downtown to her desk at Brooklyn's federal court, in a pressroom hidden on the far side of a snack bar. Smythe, who covered white-collar crime for Bloomberg News, wore mostly black and gray, and usually skipped makeup. She and her husband, who worked in finance, spent their free time cooking, walking Smythe's rescue dog, and going on literary pub crawls. "We had the perfect little Brooklyn life," Smythe says.

Then she chucked it all.

Over the course of nine months, beginning in July 2018, Smythe quit her job, moved out of the apartment, and divorced her husband. What could cause the sensible Smythe to turn her life upside down? She fell in love with a defendant whose case she not only covered, but broke the news of his arrest. It was a scoop that ignited the Internet, because her love interest, now life partner, is not just any defendant, but Martin Shkreli: the so-called "Pharma Bro" and online provocateur, who increased the price of a lifesaving drug by 5,000 percent overnight and made headlines for buying a one-off Wu-Tang Clan album for a reported $2 million. Shkreli, convicted of fraud in 2017, is now serving seven years in prison.

"I fell down the rabbit hole," Smythe tells me...

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