“Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli is up to being a bro again. In his latest effort to see how obnoxious he can be, the entrepreneur and pharmaceutical executive decided to harass freelance journalist Lauren Duca just because she does not have the same political views as him.
“Duca has been in the news a lot lately after penning the essay ‘Trump is Gaslighting America’ for Teen Vogue,” The Verge‘s Kaitlyn Tiffany explains. “In light of the piece’s popularity, she was invited to make several television appearances, including a face-off with Fox News‘ Tucker Carlson. That clip went viral due to Carlson’s statement that Duca should stop talking about politics and ‘stick to thigh-high boots.'”
Martin Shkreli, an avowed supporter of Donald Trump, apparently did not appreciate Duca’s criticism of the President-elect. So, he decided to harass her on social media.
The harassment from Shkreli seems to have started with a direct message from Shkreli to Duca on Thursday in which Shkreli asked her if she would like to attend Trump’s inauguration with him. Duca tweeted a screen grab of the message with a snarky comment in response.
I would rather eat my own organs pic.twitter.com/IgeCRZqk8w
— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) January 5, 2017
The harassment escalated from there.
“Following the message, Shkreli added a line to his Twitter bio saying he had ‘a small crush on @laurenduca,'” The Verge reports. “He also changed his profile image to a doctored photo of Duca and her husband, swapping his face into the image. He changed his banner to a collage of photos of Duca, overlaid with lyrics from John Michael Montgomery’s 1994 single ‘I Swear.'”
Finally, Shkreli tweeted that he had purchased the domain name “marrymelauren.com.” That is when other people started targeting Duca as well, teaming up to cyberbully her.
@MartinShkreli you guys are hella cute together https://t.co/eJbSJBUExY like I dont understand why she keeps pretending she’s not interested
— emily (@qtelektra) January 8, 2017
— William S. (@SailorsCapital) January 8, 2017
Lauren Duca finally tagged Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in tweets with screengrabs of Schkreli’s harassment at around 11:00 a.m. EST. Shkreli had his Twitter account suspended about two hours later.
As the Verge mentions, this wasn’t the first time Twitter has suspended the account of a high-profile user for misconduct.
“In July 2016, Twitter permanently banned Breitbart tech editor and infamous right-wing troll Milo Yiannopoulos after a period of targeted harassment against Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones,” the Verge reports. “The situations were similar in that much of the harassment came from other accounts, spurred on and encouraged by Yiannopoulos in the same way that Shkreli has been encouraging his followers.”
Martin Shkreli first stepped into American cultural consciousness in 2015 when his pharmaceutical company Turing Pharma announced it had purchased the U.S. rights to pyrimethamine (Daraprim), a drug used to prevent pneumonia in people with HIV/AIDS. Turing promptly jacked up the price of the life-saving drug from $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill, Forbes reported at the time.
The move predictably caused a public outcry, and Martin Shkreli quickly became known as “the most hated man on the internet.”
The price of the drug was eventually reduced to a still-ridiculous $375 per pill, CNN later reported.
In his last public dustup before the Twitter band, Shkreli intentionally released clips from Lil Wayne’s unreleased album “Tha Carter V” back in December, TMZ reported at the time. The much-anticipated album has been tied up in a legal battle since 2014 when it was supposed to originally be released.
So, of course, Shkreli got his hands on it and leaked clips. Of course, he did.
On the bright side, at least Lauren Duca won’t have to deal with Martin Shkreli on Twitter anymore now that he has been suspended for harassment. On that note, no one will have to deal with him on the popular social media platform anymore, not for a while anyway.
[Featured Image by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]