Martin Shkreli has had his Twitter account suspended following claims of harassment made by a female journalist.
Controversial former pharmaceutical CEO Shkreli, frequently labelled the “most unpopular man in America”, first made headlines after his company increased the price of Aids drug Daraprim by 5,556% from £10 to £577.
It was later revealed that Shkreli bought the sole copy of Wu-Tang Clan’s double album ‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’ in 2015. He paid $2 million for the record, with the stipulation that he could not release it commercially for 88 years. Shkreli later engaged in a war of words with several Wu-Tang members, including Ghostface Killah, and leaked the album online after Trump won the US election.
Over the weekend, journalist Lauren Duca – who recently penned an article for Teen Vogue in which she argued that Trump had “conned America” – posted claims that she had been contacted by Shkreli.
“He has been harassing me for a while. It’s an ongoing thing,” Duca told Buzzfeed News. “He’s been actively tweeting about dating me. I don’t know if he’s encouraging people to do this, but there’s been a small contingent of trolls telling me to sleep with him — but not that politely”.
Duca claimed that Shkreli had direct messaged her, inviting her to accompany him to Trump’s inauguration. “I saw that as an act of trolling, so I didn’t see the need to respect his privacy,” she later said.
The writer said that she became “disturbed” when Shkreli changed his Twitter profile to include a collage of photos of her, plus a profile picture which photoshopped his face onto that of her husband’s.
“I don’t know how this could possibly be allowed because this is an act of targeted harassment,” she said. “I know Twitter is struggling to figure out what makes the most sense [with its user guidelines]…but this is an entire profile dedicated to upsetting me.”
I would rather eat my own organs pic.twitter.com/IgeCRZqk8w
— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) January 5, 2017
— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) January 8, 2017
Duca later tweeted to Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey for help, to which Shkreli replied: “Don’t disrespect the sovereignity of my love for you.”
Shkreli was then banned from Twitter, with a spokesperson saying: “The Twitter Rules prohibit targeted harassment, and we will take action on accounts violating those policies.”
Reacting to the news, Duca said: “He’s an entitled creep and absolutely deserves to have his account suspended — perhaps indefinitely. I think Martin should know that under no circumstances would I touch him with a 10-foot pole. It has nothing to do with Donald Trump, but with the fact that he has committed an act of pharmaceutical terrorism.”
Last September, Shkreli claimed he was auctioning off the chance for one person to punch him in the face. Some of Shkreli’s other publicity stunts have included offering Kanye West $15m to become the only person to own his album ‘The Life Of Pablo’. He also donated $2,700 to former Democrat Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ campaign after Sanders called him “the poster child of greed”.