'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli Apologizes for Hillary Clinton Post
Martin Shkreli, former chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, arrives at the U.S. Federal courthouse on July 28, 2017 in Brooklyn, New York. Shkreli is in court for his trial in a scheme alleged to defrauded potential investors of his former drug company, Retrophin Inc.Andrew Gombert / EPA
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Former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli apologized Tuesday for offering his Facebook followers $5,000 to pull a hair from Hillary Clinton's head, saying it was an "awkward attempt at humor or satire" and not a real threat.
The contrite-sounding note to a federal judge from the man known as "Pharma Bro" came five days after prosecutors asked the court to revoke his bail and keep him locked up until he is sentenced on securities fraud charges.
Shkreli's initial response to the government motion was profanity and scorn. "Come at me with you [sic] hardest because I haven't seen anything impressive yet," he wrote on his Facebook page last week.
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But on the eve of a hearing that will determine if he goes to jail, his tone changed.
"I wanted to personally apologize to this Court and my lawyers for the aggravation that my recent postings have caused," Shkreli wrote. "I used poor judgment but never intended to cause alarm or promote any act of violence whatsoever."
His lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said that a distinction should be made between crude satire and bona fide threats or harassment.
"Ms. Griffin's penalty was not prosecution but rather losing her position as CNN's co-host of their annual New Year's televised celebration in Times Square," he wrote. "In contrast, the Government here is seeking remand."
Tracy Connor is a senior writer for NBC News. She started this role in December, 2012. Connor is responsible for reporting and writing breaking news, features and enterprise stories for NBCNews.com. Connor joined NBC News from the New York Daily News, where she was a senior writer covering a broad range of news and supervising the health and immigration beats. Prior to that she was an assistant city editor who oversaw breaking news and the courts and entertainment beats.
Earlier, Connor was a staff writer at the New York Post, United Press International and Brooklyn Paper Publications.
Connor has won numerous awards from journalism organizations including the Deadline Club and the New York Press Club.