Not the Casanova you were expecting.
Incredible as it seems, artist, entrepreneur, music mogul, pharmaceutical visionary, hedge fund manager, multiple CEO, accused Ponzi schemer and general worst person of 2015 Martin Shkreli could still make time for love.
And to find that love, he turned to Tinder, obviously, even after his name and face became reviled the world over for shaking down AIDs and cancer patients and sick pregnant ladies. This did not deter Jacklyn Collier, an actress and writer, when Shkreli “super-liked” her on the hook-up app. Here’s what she learned.
1. Martin Shkreli is basically the nicest person she ever met on Tinder. Which probably says more about Tinder than Martin Shkreli, but all the same.
Martin was the most considerate Tinderfella I have encountered. He asked what day worked best, in what area of town I preferred to meet, and my favorite cuisine….
Martin asked, “Is there a vegetarian menu? My assistant said there was a vegetarian menu. There’s a vegetarian menu, right?” He wasn’t being a jerk; it was more of an “I’m stressed because my date doesn’t put raw fish in her mouth” kind of comment….
Martin offered to have his driver give me a ride home. I once had a date swipe his Metro card for me in the subway, but I was not used to this kind of treatment. I accepted his offer, and his driver shuttled me back to Queens.
2. Martin Shkreli is a little intimidated by dating.
Martin was a lot smaller than I thought he would be, and seemed really nervous. Outside the restaurant, we exchanged an uncomfortable greeting that was somewhere between an overzealous handshake and a halfhearted hug and headed inside….
Throughout our date, I saw occasional glimpses of the cocky Martin I had expected, but those were the moments that seemed the most false to me, as if putting on a confident-dude front. He seemed the most genuine when he was acting like the guys I hung out with in high school (I dated the president of the chess club); that’s probably why I felt so comfortable on our date.
3. Martin Shkreli cannot hold his liquor.
We ordered a drink and Martin told me that he was a lightweight, something I’d never heard a man admit on a date (or ever)….
The one drink must have loosened Martin up, because the conversation flowed freely and he was surprisingly open.
4. Martin Shkreli takes women he’s never met before to first dates at Brushstroke and tries to impress them by ordering $120 beverages he doesn’t really like.
5. Brushstroke has a $120 cup of tea.
There was a “Gold Medal Sencha” for $120 a cup. Apparently it’s extremely rare and won an important tea competition in Japan. After the waitress left, we joked about paying $120 for a cup of tea. I thought about making a price-gouging joke, but couldn’t think fast enough….
We finished our food, and Martin flagged down the waitress and ordered the $120 tea. This was the most surprising and jarring moment of the night. I know he’s a multimillionaire, but I thought we were on the same page about this tea. He asked if I wanted a cup, and I couldn’t bring myself to say yes.
6. Martin Shkreli is not a tea guy.
When Martin finished his tea, I asked how he liked it. “I’m not really a big tea drinker,” he replied.
In sum, I think Martin Shkreli’s got himself a character witness for the sentencing phase of his upcoming trial.
I hate to disappoint the masses, but I have to say: I had a pretty good time….
He’s a lot more interesting and complex than I would have imagined.
My only regret is not guzzling a cup of that $120 tea. As far as Tinder dates go, I’d call that a win.