The infamous former pharmaceutical executive was awaiting sentencing for a securities fraud conviction but was free on bail — before he decided to post a cash reward on his Facebook page for a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair. A federal judge said the $5,000 offer was a “solicitation to assault” and revoked Shkreli’s bail, sending him to a Brooklyn holding facility until he is sentenced in January.
Social media reaction was hardly sympathetic — many prominent Twitter users openly celebrated. But why is Shkreli so loathed in the first place? The “Pharma Bro” has found himself in the news for numerous reasons in recent years. Here are four reasons why people seem to loathe Shkreli so much.
Shkreli significantly jacked up the price of a life-saving pharmaceutical drug
Shkreli’s decision to increase the price of Daraprim, a drug used to treat patients with HIV/AIDS, is where his notoriety began. At the helm of his newly-formed company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, Shkreli in 2015 raised the price of the drug from $13.50 a pill to $750 — an increase of roughly 5,000%. His continued defense of the price hike and the company’s refusal to lower the cost back down cemented Shkreli’s status as a popular villain.
Shkreli supposedly held the Wu-Tang Clan’s rare new album hostage
Just months after Shkreli first became Public Enemy No. 1 for his pharmaceutical antics, Bloomberg Businessweek reported that the sole copy the iconic rap group Wu-Tang Clan’s new album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, had been sold to none other than the “Pharma Bro.” In an apparent publicity stunt, the Wu-Tang Clan had produced only one copy of the CD and sold it for the highest bid, which turned out to be $2 million. What happened next remains unclear, as rumors have blended with truth, but its widely believed that Shkreli held the album hostage from the public and taunted Wu-Tang leader RZA about the purchase after he realized Shkreli’s background. Shkreli recently listed the album on Ebay and wrote in the description that he has “not carefully listened to the album.”
Shkreli harassed a female journalist on Twitter and got his account suspended
In January, Shkreli was suspended from Twitter after he harassed notable journalist Lauren Duca on the platform. Duca, who had more than a hundred thousand followers on Twitter at the time, tweeted screenshots of Shkreli directly messaging her a request to be his plus-one to Donald Trump’s inauguration. It didn’t stop there as he soon after updated his profile with a cover photo of a collage of images featuring Duca with the caption: “For better or worse, ‘til death do us part, I love you with every single beat of my heart” and changed his profile picture to an image of his head photoshopped over Duca’s husband.
Shkreli livestreamed an interview with a reporter following his fraud conviction and shrugged off the charges
Last month, just moments after his conviction in the aforementioned securities fraud trial, Shkreli launched a bizarre livestream in which he shrugged off the charges, took an interview with a New York Daily News reporter who entered his apartment not long after he attacked the media and paper — calling it “fake news” — and praised President Donald Trump because he is a “troll.”
Moments later, though, he dismissed the President and government’s overall role in Americans’ lives.
“I think politics is the biggest charade,” he told the Daily News. “I think it’s all random noise, the system can’t be controlled by one person.”