Martin Skhreli’s lawyer tried to talk the infamous “Pharma Bro’’ out of getting involved with former Bloomberg journalist Christie Smythe, the attorney told The Post on Monday.
“I do remember her very clearly — and never completely understood Martin’s relationship to and with women,’’ lawyer Ben Brafman said when asked about Smythe, who publicly declared her love for Shkreli in a bombshell Elle magazine interview published Sunday.
“My suspicious was, yes, that there was a relationship,” Brafman said of his client and Smythe, who described in the piece how she traded her husband and “perfect little Brooklyn life’’ for a romantic relationship with Shkreli, whose trial she covered.
“Let’s just say that I talked to him about it and tried to explain that this relationship with a journalist who was essentially writing a book about the trial, a book about him, was not a great idea,’’ Brafman told The Post.
“But you know, I was his lawyer. I wasn’t his guardian,’’ the legal eagle said.
“Martin is a man of his own mind. … [He] was indeed a complicated young man, and that’s an understatement. Most geniuses are.’’
The fallen pharmaceutical phenom is currently serving seven years behind bars for scamming investors over hedge funds he controlled. Shkreli also was dubbed “the most hated man in the world’’ for jacking up the price of an anti-AIDS drug by nearly 5,000 percent in 2015.
Brafman declined to discuss any specifics on the relationship between his client and Smythe, including contents of the e-mails the lovebirds exchanged when Shkreli was sent up the river.
“I don’t really think it’s appropriate,’’ Brafman said.
But the lawyer acknowledged that he told his client the electronic correspondence “was a bad idea because the government gets to see all of his e-mail.’’
As for any romance that the lawyer might have witnessed between the pair, Brafman said, “I only saw Martin in the courthouse and my office — and those two places don’t lend themselves to real romantic interaction.’’
The lawyer added that he would be filing a new motion, “hopefully soon,’’ to get Shkreli released from the Allenwood Low Federal Correctional Institution in Pennsylvania to home confinement because of COVID-19 concerns.
The inmate lost a previous bid on similar grounds in May.
“Martin is in a prison that has among the highest rate of COVID virus, and Martin has done a significant period of time in jail, and I’m not sure even the government considers him a danger,” Brafman said.
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