After leaving behind her husband and job for “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli, only to seemingly be dumped by the jailed fraudster through a statement provided to a magazine reporter, journalist Christie Smythe now says she’s open to dating other people.
But the former Bloomberg News reporter is still hopeful the romance with Shkreli—who she called “brilliant” and “fascinating”—will get a happy ending, according to The New York Post.
“I’m here in the sense that I care for him. I love him,” she told the news outlet Monday. “I’d be interested in seeing if we can make some kind of future work, if that’s what he wants to do.”
Smythe revealed the unconventional relationship—which has played out in part while Shkreli is behind bars for cheating investors—in a shockingly candid Elle profile depicting her decision to give up the “perfect little Brooklyn life” she shared with her former husband and her job at Bloomberg News to pursue a romance with the controversial pharmaceutical executive.
Shkreli made national headlines after raising the price of a life-saving drug called Daraprim overnight by 5,000%. The brash decision earned him infamy as “the most hated man in America,” a “bad boy” and “pharma bro,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
He was convicted in 2017 for securities fraud and given a seven-year sentence in federal prison.
Smythe broke the news that he was being investigated for security law violations in 2015 while she was working as a reporter at Bloomberg News—but in the years that would follow the lines between the professional and personal relationship between the pair began to blur.
“My marriage was ending and everything else. I tried to do the thing where I was trying to be a friend and trying to be a reporter, and I got sucked in far too much,” she told The Post, adding that she had “really related” and connected with Shkreli.
While attempting marriage counseling with her husband, she was also visiting Shkreli in prison and realized one day while sitting in a prison visitors room that she was in love with pharmaceutical executive, she said.
Smythe has been adamant, however, that she has never slept with Shkreli.
“I didn’t engage in any romantic interactions with him until I was done with Bloomberg,” she said.
But regardless of her public praise of Shkreli, it appears that he may have soured on the relationship after learning about the Elle article and sent a terse message through his lawyers implying the relationship was over.
“Mr. Shkreli wishes Ms. Smythe the best of luck in her future endeavors,” the statement read.
Smythe told The Post on Monday that Shkreli “basically dumped me through his lawyers.”
“It’s similar to getting fired by a CEO,” she said. “It was heartbreaking and really sad.”
Smythe said Shkreli “might be angry with me” for publicly revealing the relationship in Elle. However, for her part, she seemed pleased with the article even after receiving criticism from some who questioned her decisions.
“Going public is such a relief, no matter what people think,” she wrote on Twitter. “You have no idea how hard it is to keep this kind of story bottled up. So messy and complicated. I’m glad it was told well.”
Smythe is now looking toward the future and said she’s “definitely open” to the idea of dating other men.
“I have been basically celibate for two years,” she said. “I’m not going to sit around and wait.”
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