Ms. Smythe said she met with Mr. Shkreli's parents and brother last year in Brooklyn, where Mr. Shkreli grew up. "His father showed me around their neighborhood, which was really cute," Ms. Smythe said in an interview with The Times.
Economy & Economy
Dec. 21, 2020, 2:36 p.m. ET
When asked if the Shkreli family knew about the Elle article Ms. Smythe participated in, she said, “Yes, I think so. I should probably send you the link just to be sure. "
In September 2015, Mr. Shkreli, who was then 32 and the managing director of Turing Pharmaceuticals, raised the price of Daraprim, a drug used to treat a rare, potentially fatal parasitic infection, overnight from $ 13.50 to $ 750 per pill. He was accused of dropping prices, and his combative, sneering reactions to criticism earned him the nickname Pharma Bro.
His arrest in the early hours of December 17, 2015, related to his time as a hedge fund manager and managing director of the biopharmaceutical company Retrophin. Mr. Shkreli has been charged with securities fraud and conspiracy for lying to investors and mismanaging money.
Ms. Smythe and a colleague from Bloomberg News, Keri Geiger, brought the news of the arrest in an article describing Mr. Shkreli as a "boastful pharmaceutical manager." Ms. Smythe continued the story, reporting on Mr. Shkreli when he was convicted in 2017 and convicted in 2018. He is now in Allenwood Low Federal Prison in Pennsylvania.
After Ms. Smyhe's editors warned her about her social media posts about Mr. Shkreli in 2018 – one of which was a snapshot of her personal correspondence with him – she decided to leave Bloomberg News to write a book about the man the she had been covered for almost three years. (Ms. Smythe told Elle that she didn't have high hopes for the publication of a book that didn't make Mr. Shkreli the bad guy, but said she sold a movie option.)
"I wasn't hiding how much I interacted with him," she told the Times. "I don't really think I did anything wrong. In retrospect, I know that maybe I should have acted a little more proactively earlier. But to be honest, I don't think any damage was done."