Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

Shkreli Smythe Schmoopie Karma

Martin ShkreliSomewhere the chumped ex-husband of Christie Smythe must be having a hell of a laugh.

Smythe is the star-crossed Schmoopie of Pharma Bro swindler Martin Shkreli. We snarked about this in 2020. He went to jail, she dumped her husband and job for the sociopath, pledged her undying love — and he threw her under the bus. Because, of course he did.

Shkreli recently got out of prison three years early, but he’s too busy oiling his hair to take her calls. Very involved with his cryptocurrency. You know, villain stuff.

Now Smythe is flogging her self-published book Smirk, about The Great Love that wasn’t.

The headlines have not been kind.

‘Screw Everyone’: Journalist Who Blew Up Her Life For ‘Most Hated Man In America’ Is Finally Explaining Herself

Martin Shkreli’s ex Christie Smythe missed couple’s therapy to visit ‘Pharma Bro’ behind bars

Smythe, in an act of oblivious self-promotion, walked into the rotator blades spoke with the Sunday Times about her staggeringly incomprehensible life choices.

Let’s begin with the therapy. Laura Pullman of The Sunday Times reports:

It was an unfortunate scheduling clash. In November 2017 Christie Smythe had finally persuaded her husband to attend marriage counselling, but their opening session coincided with her first visit to see Martin Shkreli in jail.

The Bloomberg News journalist had led the way reporting on Shkreli, who had become America’s pantomime villain after hiking the price of a life-saving drug by more than 5,000 per cent overnight; as if that wasn’t bad enough, he’d later been imprisoned for an investment fraud. Smythe was plotting a book about the so-called “Pharma Bro”; her husband had warned that she was becoming too tangled in his web.

The jail and the therapist were on opposite sides of New York, but Smythe wouldn’t sacrifice seeing Shkreli. After visiting him, she raced back across town from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, which has also housed Ghislaine Maxwell and Bernie Madoff, arriving 52 minutes late for the hour-long therapy session. “I didn’t count the minutes — he did,” Smythe recalls, referring to her now ex-husband. “We still went to marriage counselling later and it was a disaster, of course. Nothing was counselled.”

I love the juxtaposition of “finally persuaded” with shows up 52 minutes late. Pick me dance a little harder, Chump-o.

But what’s a faithful man sitting on a shrink sofa for the wonderfulness of you compared with a flaming bag of dog poop doing seven years in the federal pen?

“I was feeling extremely frustrated by having to keep everything bottled up,” she says. “I was just, like, ‘Everyone is so worried about what? That I will fall in love with him?’ After that thought sunk in, I was like, ‘You know what, maybe I do love him — screw everyone.’ ”

And how’s that working for you, Ms. Smythe?

“Let’s face it, sexual desire isn’t politically correct,” she says. “You can’t impose an academic view on what we’re supposed to be turned on by. As a woman, yes, I find people who take some risks and are a little bit irreverent to be sexy. I definitely find it appealing to be with somebody who is willing to break the rules sometimes.”

Denying sick people life-saving medications for personal profit, such a turn on. What’s foreplay? Drowning kittens in a sack?

Shkreli encouraged Smythe to stop focusing on life’s safety nets. “I think security was always in the back of my mind as something I had to worry about,” she says. “Knowing Martin actually gave me the confidence to take my career into my own hands, not to be pursuing the safe option.”

Mr. Safe Option, Devin Arcoleo, must be laughing his head off. His ex is under-employed, dating a freelance horror filmmaker named Humberto, oblivious to her ruin, while Shkreli lives in a halfway house.

Smythe tells The Sunday Times:

“I’m smirking because I kind of got everything I wanted out of this. I finally get to write this book. I’m secretly, or maybe not so secretly, the winner in all this.”

Devin — you’re the winner in all this.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Is she tone deaf much? That aside, anyone that can’t see what a psycho Pharma Boy is needs lobotomizing!

    • I remember this one, I misread it as Martin *Shrek*????

      Oh boy, that is one dumb schmoopie wazzock. ????????

  • This is why you have to trust, deep in your gut, they suck. You can not make sense of nonsense. You can’t get them to understand the harm they cause. You can’t untangle their skein of crazy. You can only cut that line and move on.

    • And, even if it is patently obvious to the rest of humanity that their choice was a colossal mistake, they are never going to acknowledge it. To you, to the greater world, and probably not even to themselves. Don’t sit around waiting for that admission to give you closure: it is never going to come.

      • Actually, “Closure” happens the minute THEY disrespected, devalued and disregarded you and your family……!!!

  • Holy, reading that I felt like I attended a Narcissist’s Convention! The ex most definitely deserves to have the biggest smirk of all! But he won’t because like most of us chumps, he’ll be a nice guy & probably still wonders why “he”didn’t make it work with Ms. Narc & got dumped. I hope not, but I think it’s always in the back of our minds roaming around somewhere. Do not listen to it.

    • I googled Smythe’s ex out of curiosity and found his LinkedIn. The guy is cute, polished, and obviously a high performer, with an MBA from a top school and a senior executive title at a big investment firm.

      Smythe is delusional if she thinks she’s not the loser in all this.

  • Christie~ “I’m smirking because I kind of got everything I wanted out of this. I finally get to write this book. I’m secretly, or maybe not so secretly, the winner in all this.”

    Who is she trying to convince?

    • It sounds like she internalized Pharma Bro’s signature smirk. That may have been the foundations of the “attraction.” Narcissists borrow personality traits and quirks from others like trying on clothes. She got tired of the increasingly upscale Brooklyn professional mommy track (go visit sometime and experience getting run off the sidewalk and shouted at by entitled pram-pushing moms wearing Alexander McQueen) and wanted to adopt a scummier and smirkier persona. Crazy, sexy, kool (barf). Bet she watches a ton of cheesy cable series and walks around for days at a time emulating her favorite character of the moment.

      I’ve known people like this. A woman I worked with briefly (ick) who was the real life model for the character of Deb Jellinsky in Addams’ Family Values (hilarious) would show up on various days being various characters. One day she’d wear a ruffly pink baby doll dress and would act giggly and childlike. Other days she’d show up in a black cat suit with racing stripes and would act arch and calculating. She never knew who to be with me so she’d just go blank and her eyes would blink rapidly like her robot chip was fritzing. At some point she tried being an actress and it was interesting that for all her personal fakery she couldn’t manage to be convincing in a scripted role. That’s something else I’ve seen before: people who constantly “act” in real life fold up when the stakes are raised. The best actors aren’t fakes in RL.

      I later heard that fakey presto-chango coworker said that I had a “bad personality.” I’ve heard this before from other clinical narcs like my former MIL. What it means is that I have ONE personality and I don’t playact along with other people’s weirdo scripts. Actually I can put on an act when the stakes are life and death or losing a job but 1) I know I’m doing it; 2) I hate doing it; 3) I resent the hell out of anyone who makes it necessary to be fake to pass some kind of gauntlet; 4) I’m better at it than most narcs if push comes to shove because I know who I am.

      • Having a “bad personality” is narc speak for anyone who doesn’t fall for their bullshit. It’s a left handed compliment. ????????

        • Lol, yes, definitely an honor! I think they can’t stand that you’re not playing the sidekick character that allows them to do their sparkly routine. Because of the business I was in and being around so many narcs and frauds all the time, I think I sort of doubled down on being flat, dry and sober in response so I’d get that crack periodically. I had to gray rock an entire industry. In private I’m very spoofy, do impressions tend to gesticulate like an old Italian guy. But present me with a vibey narc and I go poker face and wan. Bad personality= Not useful.

  • Someone who is compelled to say “I’m the winner in all this” = bigly clue of narcissism

  • I’m the winner in all of this … indeed. Me, me, me, me!! It is ALL about ME!
    (Insert same eye-roll your fuckwit elicited on thousands of occasions before and after the demise of your relationship)

  • If this interview is, like, an example of how her writing is, I can kind of see, well maybe totally see, why she’s underemployed as a journalist.
    Love the title, though. Describes every fuckwit since the dawn of time.

  • Shkreli is not a “little bit irreverent”! He’s a full out sociopath.
    As for Smythe and her smug and self-congratulatory triumphalist assessment of her incomprehensible life choices, Philip Lopate has the last word on that, in his Introduction to “The Art of the Essay”: “Unproblematically self-assured, self-contained, self-satisfied types will not make good essayists.”

  • How cheaters love to defend their incomprehensible life choices. Perhaps a Friday challenge on how they ‘found’ themselves post scorched earth is warranted.

    • This was great for boosting perspective on FW post-disaster spin. There’s no bottom and they get so crazy that normal people couldn’t possibly buy into these stories. To the personality disordered, the truth is only what one can make others believe.

  • Smirk – to smile in a conceited, silly way.

    Good title choice. ????

  • Holy mother of bizarro narcissists Batman! That’s completely ridiculous! They really are their own species.
    It just always stays shockingly amazing how they are unable to see how far they’ve come off the tracks, they just see themselves as so different than anyone else, so special and deserving of all that they want. Nothing else even registers with them.
    They see ppl as judging them too hard. Don’t we realize how special they are?! It has nothing to do with their toxic destructive vortex reining hell on the world. They are special, by God!
    I guess they stay essentially insulated though, because if they ever stop believing their own narratives, it’s doomsday for them.
    I think subconsciously every one of them is aware of that.
    Keep churning out those alternate realities, you narcs of the world and get as many allies as you can to buy your worthless crap, because you can’t survive out from under your moldy rocks.
    Smythe belongs in that halfway house with psycho Pharma Bro, hard to envision a couple who deserve one another more.

  • I hope her chump has fixed his picker and found a wonderful Tuesday. I didn’t bother reading the click-bait about her, since I don’t want to give that putrid piece of garbage ANY kibbles. However, I am grateful that the CL put on her haz-mat suit and gave us the synopsis.

    • People are eviscerating her on Twitter and openly mocking her to her face. Nice to see the public call out fuckwits.

  • I was duped because I believed the ex’s lies, including stories told when we were dating that portrayed him as a kind, generous man of good moral character.

    It says a lot about a person that she can be attracted to a known medication price gouger and investment fraud felon.

    • “It says a lot about a person that she can be attracted to a known medication price gouger and investment fraud felon.”

      Even worse, she prefaced it but saying “as a woman” as if all women are attracted to scum like that. It’s a case of like attracting like and nothing to do with gender.

  • (Music by ABBA, lyrics by Christie Smythe)
    Tune at:

    I don’t wanna keep
    Counseling dates I set up
    Basking in the glow
    Of my Pharma Bro

    He’s the one I want
    He’s my sexy jailbird
    Finally I’m free
    Fuck security

    The winner’s Christie Smythe!
    The loser takes the fifth
    I’ll settle for the kicks
    Of Humberto’s flicks

    I’d do it again
    Risky assholes thrill me
    No academic view
    Who you want to screw

    Now I’ve got my book
    I’m the one who’s winning
    Read about the con
    Buy on Amazon

    The winner’s Christie Smythe!
    The winner’s Christie Smythe!

    • Awesome song!
      “No academic view
      Who you want to screw”

      If I screwed every ass I felt physically attracted to, (attraction happens because we grew up in a society with messed up ideas about sexuality) my life would be a worse cluster fuck than even hers. I thought what made us adult humans was our ability to practice critical thinking, and not blindly follow every sexual urge. What an idiot. Hope her ex is doing all right.

    • LOL LOL. Smythe looks like a bargain budget bin version of Agnetha and I’m imagining her (Smythe) singing this while wearing the aptly named $2,500 Vampire’s Wife “Falling Poppy Confessional” dress she wore for the Elle mag interview.

    • Perfect song choice, UX! (And I’m not just saying that ’cause I’m Swedish.)
      But doesn’t Smythe rhyme with scythe? Or blithe? Or writhe?

      • I usually guess this wrong — I’ll assume it’s the short-a “smith’ when it’s really the long-a “scythe”, or vice-versa. I took a shot.

  • Her Instagram is private. I’ll bet too many people left comments with the correct definition of. “winner” for her.

    No, Christie. Wordle is FIVE letters. As in

    SMIRK also has five letters. But so does LAUGH, which her ex is DOING. ALOUD.

    I can’t wait for Wordle tomorrow.

  • Her Instagram is private.

    Comments on her book website are for paid subscribers only.

    Maybe too many people were correcting her on the definition of “winner”?

    No, Christie. Wordle is FIVE letters. Like LOSER.

    And LAUGH. ALOUD. Like your former husband is DOING. As we SPEAK. I hope he can WRITE too. Now there’s a book I’d like to SPEND my MONEY on.

    I can’t wait for Wordle tomorrow.

  • “I’m smirking because I kind of got everything I wanted out of this. I finally get to write this book.” Honey, it’s self published. No one cares. The level of delusion is really fascinating.

  • Yes, Devin is the big winner here. No children with a FW!

    Fun fact – she froze eggs in order to potentially have babies with Martin too.

  • I guess that when Mrs Smythe says that she “as encouraged not to focus on life’s safety nets” she really means “stop caring about the consequences of my decisions for other people.”

    If she ever has children, she had better hope that they don’t ever “Google” their mother ….


    • People like this raise their kids with carefully composed narratives about those kind of shenanigans to spin the bad behavior as cool or devil-may-care. I’ve seen it. Doing this is like setting up a pool shot and tends to send kids on a trajectory to commit the same crap in their own lives or to be victims to it. Criminal rationalization systems are learned.

      • HoaC,

        You are right about the carefully composed narrative impacting on subsequent generations. Ex Mrs LFTT was always told that she was adopted, which was technically true ….. it’s just that her parents left out the bit about her father being her real father; he cheated on my MIL, got the other woman pregnant and coerced MIL (who was pregnant with Ex-Mrs LFTT’s half sister) into adopting the child so that he could control the narrative.

        The history behind her existence was something that was never ever discussed in the family, but the truth got out when Ex-Mrs LFTT finally saw her birth certificate at age 18. Sadly, Ex-Mrs LFTT learned completely the wrong lesson about all of this; rather than learning that cheating literally ruins lives, she learned that cheating was OK so long as you denied everything, never apologised and were prepared to lie to everyone that matters ….. which is what she did to me and the kids.


        • Was ex-Mrs. LFTT violence-prone by any chance? Did she tend to chase dangerous users? Was she a faux feminist just to justify promiscuity? I ask because this reminds me of a former coworker with a similar family saga who’d also already learned all the wrong lessons. Her dad had impregnated an employee. The employee married cheating dad’s son and the son unknowingly adopted his own half brother. Mom found out and died of cancer. This happened after I got the coworker fired for aiding and abetting a stalker I was in the middle of prosecuting. Then the coworker tried to physically attack me in the office parking lot.

          The coworker had a really, really good front of being charming, emotionally intelligent and sensitive but was actually a quasi psychopath. She chased users and creeps, one of whom was a friend of the stalker. Siding with the stalker was all about pick-me dancing for her target. She pretended to be a feminist. I think she got sucked into the dysfunction vortex and was never heard from again, thank God.

          The takeaway seems to be that the cheater narrative basically hands kids a one way ticket to hell.

          • HoaC,

            Ex-Mrs LFTT wasn’t physically violent and her AP was a Police Officer. Her MO when it came to manipulation was more financial/emotional.


  • SIITO — mine’s favorite refrain was/is: “I learned so much about myself. I’m finally becoming the person I was always meant to be.”

    1 – Everyone who knew her before The Troubles learned a lot about her too. Little of of it good.

    2 – At age 50, she’s working in an admin job; constantly in self-imposed competition with her sisters; married to a self-absorbed college instructor with children from a failed marriage; and relying on him to generate the type of attention she needs to function day-to-day. Just like her mother was at age 50. She’s EXACTLY the person she was always meant to be.

  • Hybristophilia: A type of paraphilia where someone is sexually attracted to liars, cheats, felons or killers.

    I actually think FW is quasi hybristophilic. With the exception of me, every woman he fixated since college and after he married me either had a LT boyfriend to start with or was married, ergo he has an attraction to cheaters and liars. The ones who flirted back (or fucked him) while he was married also obviously had an attraction to cheaters and liars. I only learned of this pattern after D-Day.

    It’s not really a mystery why he was like this: while still married, his mother– the most verbally vicious passive aggressive boundary-breacher I’ve ever encountered outside one credibly alleged rapist I worked for– would brag to her kids about “falling a little bit in love” with various (likely married) power figures she worked under at her job for an NGO. She would put on this fluttery girly act depending on the audience, even competing for attention from her son’s friends and getting jealous of their wives. She churned my stomach. His dad was no prize and used to openly make sexual comments about randos in front of his wife and young kids. I’m kind of ashamed to admit he didn’t bother me as much because he was the only member of FW’s family who didn’t bait and attack me but I heard he was a ragaholic. But I guess he was so depressed after getting divorced that he didn’t want to do anything that might threaten his son’s marriage and he never showed me that side of himself.

    Meanwhile I didn’t grow up with anything like this. My parents were from a generation of artists in NY where there was really no bottom for anyone dabbling in sex/drugs/bs and their circle seemed to steer clear. They showed as little interested in sin as they did in religion. They talked about all of it in a sort of anthropological way. They were both very experienced people and my dad was a combat vet so the attitude was that life would provide enough stress, pain, loss and surprises on its own without deliberately fucking up and complicating your own life. The worst condemnation of anyone in their eyes aside from rapists and mass killers was being a liar and con artist and abandoning family.

    I still can’t figure out how I ended up with a FW and how he managed to fool my parents. Split personality maybe? Or else it can happen to anyone. I know that batterers often choose partners they think are a vast departure from FOO because they figure that this kind of partner will “inspire” them to be better people. That stems from the fundamental belief that victims “make” abusers abuse so the idea is that some partners won’t “cause” abuse. Cheating mentality seems exactly the same: when the abuser continues to have the same old shitty impulses, they feel especially betrayed that their supposedly super human partner failed to magically turn them into unicorns and the cycle continues. Untangle, untangle, dunno. People wear masks and red flags for abuse should be taught in high school.

    • I’m also from a very stable and reasonable upbringing, and ex FW also fooled my parents. It really can happen to anyone. I think your line of reasoning when it comes to FW trying to pick someone to make them better is not far off. I hated to recognize the red flag of his upbringing (because I thought not everyone becomes their parents, and he expressed so much condemnation of his father’s behavior), but that was probably the biggest flag of them all.

      • Did you get the full picture of how fucked up his family was? I got dribs and drabs but never the full picture till the end. I know his parents didn’t drink and there was no outright violence or known cheating incidents so I really thought his family was about the same as mine at first. Now I realize the bar for family dysfunction is in hell in our society so just lack of booze/battering isn’t assuring on its own. If anything, the earliest red flags were how nasty his mother, sister and brother and law were to me and the fact that FW would go all Picachu surprised-face about it and wouldn’t stand up for me. Since then I saw this listed as a red flag on a feminist site– plays possum when others attack you. Also future faking home projects and the fact that he only ever called me nicknames (in order not to call anyone by the wrong name?). Those weren’t classic warnings when I was dating him. I think I should have gotten better training to heed body sensations. Live and learn.

        • Ex would go all Picachu surprised-faced whenever his family were shitty towards me. It would be obvious what they were doing or what they said was a slight towards me. He’d have that wide-eyed Picachu face and never stood up for me. I didn’t know that was a red flag but I do now.

          I ignored the red flags that his family was dysfunctional. I thought cheater was different but he was only mirroring me and I fell for it.

      • Yep, my fw quit drinking soon after we married because he didn’t want to be an alcoholic like his dad. As far as I know he never did drink again, but he cheated and gambled. Most of our marriage it was just cheating. (unknown to me until the last few months). He likely gambled but kept it contained. After we D’d and he married office whore, he cheated multiple times on her then turned to gambling big time.

        I only know because of our son. I rarely ever saw him again after we D’d. I didn’t know how bad his childhood was until several years after we married.

        • Like my FW swore to me before we were married that he would never ever cheat or want to divorce because his dad’s affair/ parents’ divorce destroyed his childhood so he knew the devastation firsthand. Guess why we’re divorced.

          • Both Fucknuts (first cheating husband & father cheated), and Fuckface (second cheating partner & ex-wife cheated) promised they would never cheat on me. What a fucking fool I was. They both knew the devastation it caused, but cheated anyway. No way in hell I’m ever trusting again until I fix my picker.

  • Yep, the book is a desperate attempt to continue the narrative that this is all Exactly Like I Planned It, that the whole shit-show was an exit affair designed to implode a life of Stepford-Wife boredom that would have happened sooner or later anyway. I googled the ex, and he seems like a nice, drama-free head of an investment brokerage. She sure own-goaled it, but will swear until she’s blue in the face that it was all part of the master plan. Sure, Jan. Admitting you fucked up that royally could send a gal over the edge, so I get why she’s sticking to the story.

  • Even when she talks about Schmoopie it’s all
    me, me, me, me, me!

  • Ugh, the dreaded smirk. Don’t they all have it? Why? My ex had it when I finally confronted him after he made up some bullshit when I caught him closing a chat window. “I read your emails, I know you’re lying.” His response? A smirk and “I knew you were going to do that.”

    It’s disgusting they’re disgusting. I should’ve run for the hills at that second. I couldn’t believe it. I expected a completely different response. He slept soundly after lying to me while I read through email after email and chat after chat. He “knew” I was going to find it and was able to go right to sleep. Says a lot, right?

    • “Ugh, the dreaded smirk. ”

      Yes, I remember after Dday, (He didn’t admit it yet, but I knew, and he knew I knew) he stayed another week until right after New Years. He was gone all night one night and he came in the door about 5am. He was smirking and walking across the room like he was a big shot.

      In retrospect, it was his last hurrah. At some point in the next few days someone filed an ethics complaint against him. I wonder if he continued to walk around the Police Station with that smirk and he kissed ass and groveled at warp speed to try and save his ass.

  • Oh, she’s still batshit crazy. I remember this one. Her behavior was so bizarre and stupid it made me wonder if she had a brain tumor. I guess not because she’s still kicking. But she sees herself as the winner here… ok.

  • Sometimes it’s really wonderful when the schmoopie wins bigly!!!!! I got a say, though, there are a lot of woman who lose their minds over convicts. I don’t get it but these gals fall hard. Is it like, they think ‘hey, here’s a guy I know won’t step out on me 24/7 for 15-20. Yeeha!!’ Or like that prison guard who broke out a killer, cashed in all her savings, then ended her life when they were caught. So insanely tragic.

  • This week has been such a hellscape. And this moron is the cherry on the shit sundae.

  • >
    %d bloggers like this: