Just when you thought Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli couldn’t do anything else to give rich white guys a bad name, he one-upped himself with two bizarre Facebook posts.
Shkreli, who is currently on bail, made two Facebook posts offering $5,000 to anyone who would grab a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair. Clinton is currently on a nationwide book tour for What Happened, her version of how the 2016 election went down. Shkreli’s offer depended on someone snagging a hair from her at one of these book signings, make it a very public social hit-and-run.
Though a relatively minor infraction when compared to the legacy he has left behind, it is enough to ensure that he sees a cell for the time being.
According to the courts, those posts constitute threats of physical assault, and a judge revoked his $5 million bail, landing him in a Brooklyn federal jail.
Shkreli claimed the posts were meant to be satirical, and his lawyer said it was only “a momentary lapse in judgment.”
Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto, for her part, was not having any of his shit.
“That is a solicitation to assault in exchange for money that is not protected by the First Amendment,” she said at the hearing.
In an age where the rich and powerful seemingly get away with whatever they want, it is refreshing to see someone get their comeuppance, even if it is for something not even tangentially related to the worst they’ve done. Shkreli edited his social media post afterwards, saying it was meant to be satirical and humorous, but, realistically, it was about as funny as when he harassed a journalist on Twitter.
Shkreli gained notoriety and universal worldwide animosity in 2015, when his company bought Daraprim, a lifesaving drug that retailed for $13.50 a pill. Shkreli’s company jacked the price up to $750, saying that is what it should have cost from the beginning.
The 5,000 percent price increase set off alarm bells across the country about the power pharmaceutical companies have over lives and how the power is subject largely to the whims of those who wield it.
Shkreli, obviously unaware of the PR nightmare he was about to set off, can be positively credited with causing people to take a closer look at pharmaceutical monopolies and Big Pharma in general.
Shkreli is currently awaiting sentencing for three counts of fraud he was convicted of in August.