Was this a tale of true love, or of a conman finding another mark? | Barbara Ellen

Christie Smythe reported on fraudster Martin Shkreli, then fell for him. The drama continues

Sometimes, your own passion can be hyped. Your feelings can become a corny, overwrought storyline you lose control over.

Christie Smythe, a Bloomberg News reporter, broke the story of the arrest of Martin Shkreli, controversial hedge funder, “Pharma Bro” and online provocateur, who became notorious for inflating the price of the lifesaving toxoplasmosis drug Daraprim by 5,000%. After Shkreli was sentenced to seven years in 2018 for securities fraud and conspiracy, Smythe visited him in prison and fell in love, losing her job and marriage. When she spoke to Elle magazine, in a story that went viral, Shkreli cut her off, saying: “Mr Shkreli wishes Ms Smythe the best of luck in her future endeavours”. She interpreted this as Shkreli being concerned about the fallout for her.

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