Exclusive: Pharmaceutical exec. Martin Shkreli speaks out

- Martin Shkreli, the controversial former pharmaceutical executive, sat down with Fox 5 for his first major interview since being arrested on fraud charges in December.

The 32-year-old Shkreli was thrust into the spotlight last year when he hiked the price of an obscure lifesaving drug called Daraprim some 5,000%, from $13.50 a pill to $750.

Shkreli maintains his innocence and say his public persona that had him nicknamed 'pharma bro' was a big joke that, in hindsight, was a bad idea.

"I'm not a 'pharma bro', right?  This is a name that got started when there was a picture I took that was meant to be ironic of me in these sun glasses and listening to a rap song, making sort of a funny hand signal," Shkreli says. "And the reason I took the picture was, I'm never like that.  We take photos when we're doing unusual things."

For many, he became the face of putting profits before people.

"I think most people for most people the hate is sort of this quick reaction," Shkreli told Fox 5. "It's something they're looking for. They're looking for someone to hate and if I fit that mold I almost feel I'm serving some sort of utility for them to feel that hate for me."

On December 17, 2015, federal agents arrested Shkreli, accusing him of securities fraud in connection with an entirely different drug company and hedge fund he was involved with. He says the arrest was driven by negative publicity.

"It's all fictitious," he said. "The government's case is fictitious."

Since his arrest, Shrkeli has kept a much lower profile in the media but he remains active online. Fox5 was there for one of his livestream chats over the weekend. Shrkeli says he finds a lot of supporters online.

"For all the hate, 'the most hated man in the world' can't find someone who actually hates him," he said.

The son of a janitor, Shkreli was born and raised in Brooklyn.

The rap fan paid $2 million for the rights to a Wu-Tang Clan album.  The group created a single copy of the record and sold it to the highest bidder.

 

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