Martin Shkreli allegedly talked about wanting to hook up with guys in front of an openly gay consultant to get him to invest in his hedgefund.
Steven Richardson, 63, made the claims in court Tuesday, saying that he and Shkreli’s early friendship was marked by “uncomfortable” comments the latter made about sleeping with men.
“I thought maybe he was saying things to me because he thought I would want to hear them,” the former American Express human resources VP told Brooklyn federal court jurors.
“He was saying things to me, like, ’Maybe I’ll have sex with a guy in the office,’ or we’d be at a restaurant and there’d be a waiter and he’d say, ’Maybe I should hook up with him.'”
Richardson, who invested $400,000 into Shkreli’s MSMB fund and later served as chairman for his drug company Retrophin, got so sick of the comments that he invited the young man to his Manhattan apartment.
After having a few drinks, Richards told jurors that he brought Shkreli into his bedroom and asked him point blank if he was interested in sleeping with him.
“Here you are in a gay man’s bedroom,” he told Shkreli. “Do you have any physical feelings for me?”
“He took a second and said ’No, I like you a lot but I don’t,'” Richardson testified, saying that he himself responded with, “Good, that’s what I expected to hear and wanted to hear.”
“I was very pleased that we had removed any doubt about whether this was a purely platonic friendship,” Richardson concluded.
Richardson, who lives with his longtime partner, was testifying at Shkreli’s securities fraud trial in Brooklyn, New York federal court. Prosecutors have alleged that Shkreli rolled investors’ money from his MSMB Capitol hedgefund into his drug company Retrophin.
The “pharma bro” became a national villain in 2015 when he hiked the price of Daraprim—a drug used by AIDS patients—from $13.50 a tablet to $750 per tablet.