Martin Shkreli: Single-copy Wu-Tang Clan album was bought by 'the most hated man in America'

He's yet to listen to it.

Christopher Hooton
Wednesday 09 December 2015 14:03
The album was previously locked in an underground vault
The album was previously locked in an underground vault

You remember that Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, which the group only produced one copy of - to be locked in a vault until someone bought it?

Well it sold last month, and now, thanks to Bloomberg, we know the buyer: Highly controversial hedge fund manager and Turing Pharmaceuticals co-founder Martin Shkreli.

The site reported:

‘Having participated in bidding wars for companies and drugs, Shkreli says he had a feeling from the start that he’d made the highest offer for Shaolin. As it turned out, he was right. Shkreli won’t say how much he paid. But someone familiar with the deal says that the Wu-Tang Clan sold him the album for $2 million. Before he closed on the acquisition, Shkreli was permitted to listen to a few more snippets to make sure it was all there. Shkreli delegated the task to an employee.’

The 32-year-old entrepreneur, who was asked to leave his previous job at Retrophin over alleged misuse of assets, apparently bought the album the same month that his pharmaceutical company purchased an anti-parasitic drug called Daraprim and raised its price from $13.50 a pill to $750.

The BBC wrote that Shkreli “may be the most hated man in America,”, while Hillary Clinton denounced him, saying: “Price gouging like this in the specialty drug market is outrageous.”

Update I: In what is perhaps a bid to win the people back over, Shkreli has started a YouTube live stream, teasing that he might "play something special".

Update II: He's gone and bloody left his desk for a meeting. A commenter suggested he "do something" other than just sit there, Shkreli declined.

Hell, even Donald Trump isn’t a fan:

“He looks like a spoiled brat to me," the Republican presidential hopeful said.

When Wu-Tang’s RZA learned that Bloomberg was planning to reveal the buyer’s identity, he issued them a statement saying: “The sale of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin was agreed upon in May, well before Martin Skhreli’s [sic] business practices came to light. We decided to give a significant portion of the proceeds to charity.”

Wu-Tang fans previously tried to get a Kickstarter going in the hope of keeping the album out of the hands of the super-rich, but it only managed to raise $15,406.

Shkreli says he has yet to listen to the album.

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