Only days after Elle magazine dropped their now-infamous profile on former Bloomberg reporter Christie Smythe on Dec. 20, 2020, in which the former journalist — who made her name extensively covering the arrest and crimes of disgraced pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli — detailed how she eventually eschewed her personal life and career in order to enter into a romantic relationship with her former subject. But now, it looks like Smythe might be open to other possibilities in the world of dating.
In an exclusive with The New York Post published on Dec. 21, 2020, Smythe, who still refers to Shkreli as her “life partner,” followed up on how her feelings have still remain steadfast. “I’m here [for Martin Shkreli] in the sense that I care for him. I love him,” Smythe disclosed. (The former “pharma bro” is currently serving a seven-year sentence for fraud.) “I’d be interested in seeing if we can make some kind of future work, if that’s what he wants to do.”
If there’s a detectable wistfulness underlying Smythe’s comments to the Post, it’s not for naught. While the Elle tell-all might have been a compelling story to begin with — based on its premise alone — the conclusion of the article produced one final, jaw-dropping twist: that upon learning of the article, Shkreli ghosted Smythe from prison. (At of the time of this writing, it appears neither Shrkeli or Smythe are currently in contact.) So how has Smythe dealt with the fallout?
Christie Smythe said Martin Shkreli 'dumped me through his lawyers'
After Elle’s publication of their piece on Christie Smythe — who was interviewed extensively for the article with full, candid participation — the former journalist spoke to a number of news outlets. She detailed not only the fallout she experienced following the viral story, but how she has dealt with her purported split with Shrkeli, who seemingly ended things with Smythe after hearing of the Elle piece.
As a number of internet denizens noted, the way in which Shkreli went about informing Smythe of their supposed breakup was ghosting to an entirely different degree. Rather than reaching out directly to Smythe, Shrkreli instead sent a message through Elle writer Stephanie Clifford in a third-person statement that resembled something a PR or legal team would compose on behalf of a client.
“Mr. Shkreli wishes Ms. Smythe the best of luck in her future endeavors,” the statement read, which Clifford included in the feature. Upon hearing it for the first time, Smythe responded simply to Clifford. “That’s sweet,” Smythe noted, which Clifford observed at the time was said “quietly” and “not convincingly.”
But in her later interview with The New York Post, the former Bloomberg reporter was more frank about her reaction to the news. “He basically dumped me through his lawyers,” Smythe explained in a December 2020 interview. “That was a classic breakup-slash-if-you-fire-somebody kind of line. It’s similar to getting fired by a CEO,” she added. “It was heartbreaking and really sad.”
Christie Smythe says she's 'open' to dating other people
Though Christie Smythe’s comments post-breakup with Martin Shkreli indicate that she still hopes she and Shkreli might feasibly repair their relationship, she also noted she’s not opposed to other romantic possibilities.
“I’m definitely open to it,” said Smythe when asked whether she is interested in moving on from Shkreli, per The New York Post. Symthe noted that she had “been basically celibate for two years” during her relationship with Shkreli, which was, per Elle, romantic but not sexual. She then added that she was “not going to sit around and wait” for him. (It is unclear whether she meant this in relation to his expected release in 2023 after completion of his seven-year prison sentence, or as to a possible future communication.)
Despite her purported acceptance of her split from Shkreli, Smythe — who, by all accounts still refers to Shkreli as her “life partner” — was also frank with reporters about her feelings for him. “I love him,” Smythe said in an interview with The New York Times. “I’m here for him.” (Symthe divorced her husband and left her job at Bloomberg to be with Shkreli.)
While many found Martin Shkreli’s abrupt breakup message to be astonishing and even cruel, others noted that Shkreli’s alleged extensive history of specifically trolling female journalists made it, in a way, almost unsurprising.
Martin Shkreli has a history of trolling female journalists
In a piece published by The Cut on Dec. 21, 2020, the story detailed the experiences of a handful out of many, many female reporters who went public with how Shkreli allegedly targeted them online, sometimes to a malicious or dangerous degree.
“Martin Shkreli harassed me and many other women throughout 2016,” recounted Taylor Lorenz, a New York Times reporter, in The Cut interview. Lorenz, who also relayed that she “still [feels] the effects” of the Shkreli-helmed online campaign against her, added “[Shkreli] made our lives a nightmare by encouraging followers to relentlessly post about us…When I get attacked online, Martin’s fans still contribute to pile-ons.”
The Cut also summarized the experience of another writer, Lauren Duca, who was continuously targeted by a “fixated” Shkreli throughout 2017 — harassment which allegedly included a satirical “invitation” to accompany him to Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration — followed by “[changing] his Twitter avatar and cover photos to pictures of Duca and [making] his bio ‘small crush on @laurenduca (hope she doesn’t find out).'” Per The Cut, Shkreli’s trolling of Duca led to Twitter permanently suspending his account.
in her interview with Elle, Smythe claimed that Shkreli’s behavior stemmed from anxiety. “He trolls because he’s anxious,” she explained. Smythe took to Twitter on Dec. 21, 2020 when asked about Shkreli’s treatment of Duca. “It was kind of a two-way street with that awful nonsense,” responded Smythe. “I don’t approve.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, or call the National Alliance on Mental Illness Helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).
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