Former Bloomberg journalist Christie Smythe says her ex husband is ‘not happy’ after she revealed how she left him for PharmaBro Martin Shkreli.
Speaking to Elle magazine a day after she professed her love for the prisoner in an article Sunday Smythe, 37, said her ex Devin Arcoleo had text ‘a couple’ of times.
She said: ‘They were not happy texts. It’s up to him, whatever he wants to do, it’s his business.’
Smythe quit her job and left Arcoleo, 36, to be with Shkreli, dubbed ‘the most hated man in America’, after covering his arrest. She shared details of their romance but has since been cut off by Shkreli who, in a statement, said he ‘wishes her well’.
Approached by DailyMail.com on Monday Pimco executive Arcoleo declined to comment and would not say whether or not 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.’
Smythe is pictured with her ex-husband. They started going to couple’s counselling when she began working on stories about Shkreli. Her husband warned her Shkreli was using her
Smythe quit her job and left Arcoleo to be with Shkreli, dubbed ‘the most hated man in America’, after covering his arrest. Shkreli is pictured with lawyer Benjamin Brafman in 2017
Discussing the online reaction to her story Smythe, who helped break the news of Shkreli’s arrest on securities fraud in December 2015, said she ‘did not like being called “the victim,” “mentally ill”’ for her decisions’.
She added: ‘Neither of those things are accurate. I respect and understand if people criticize my decisions. That’s fair. I put it out there. It’s fair game. But I made these choices very consciously.’
She added: ‘What feels very sexist to me is, why am I a victim? I chose to do this.’
Smythe said the reaction of her loved ones has been supportive since the article broke.
She adds: ‘I have gotten both family members and lots of friends from all over the country emailing me and reaching out and saying, “I hope you’re okay. We’re here for you.”’
Shkreli, who once led Turing Pharmaceuticals, is currently serving seven years in prison for defrauding investors. He became infamous for suddenly raising the price of the drug Daraprim in 2015 by 5,000 percent — from $13.50 a pill to $750.
He also drew attention in 2015 when he purchased for $2 million the sole edition of an album by rappers Wu-Tang Clan titled ‘Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.’
And he smirked through a congressional hearing that scrutinized his actions, becoming known as ‘Pharma Bro.’
Smythe sat in the Brooklyn court throughout his trial and was there for his sentence in 2018. She described to Elle how she gradually fell in love with him during visits to see him in prison.
‘I told Martin I loved him. And he told me he loved me, too,’ Smythe said, recalling one particular visit.
‘It’s hard to think of a time when I felt happier,’ the magazine quoted her as saying.
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
Smythe, who left Bloomberg in 2018 and got divorced from her husband in 2019, had said she would wait for Shkreli while he serves the remaining three years of his sentence. She also mentions that they may try to have children.
‘Going public is such a relief, no matter what people think,’ Smythe tweeted late Sunday.
‘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 added.
But after he ‘basically dumped me through his lawyers’ Symthe said she is ready to get back to dating. ‘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.’
‘I’d be interested in seeing if we can make some kind of future work, if that’s what he wants to do,’ she added.
During Shkreli’s trial, his lawyer had described him as a mildly autistic, self-taught genius. Shkreli had earlier had his bail revoked after he offered a reward for anyone who would grab a strand of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s hair. He insisted it was a joke.
His 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.
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.
Christie Smythe, 38, quit her job, divorced her husband, and froze her eggs for imprisoned former CEO Martin Shkreli
Smythe says she fell in love with the infamous ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli
The pair first met in 2015 soon after she found out that he was under federal investigation for securities law violations.
Then, after his arrest, he contacted her when he’d been bailed out of jail.
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.
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.
‘Maybe I was being charmed by a master manipulator,’ she said.
Discussing the online reaction to her story Smythe, who helped break the news of Shkreli’s arrest on securities fraud in December 2015, said she ‘did not like being called “the victim,” “mentally ill”’ for her decisions’. She is pictured Monday
Smythe, who left Bloomberg in 2018 and got divorced from her husband in 2019, had said she would wait for Shkreli while he serves the remaining three years of his sentence. She also mentions that they may try to have children
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 The New York Post on Monday: ‘I do remember her very clearly — and never completely understood Martin’s relationship to and with women.
‘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.
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 him 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
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.