Martin Shkreli—the most hated former hedge fund manager on Earth—was convicted of three counts of fraud in a Manhattan court last month, but his case just keeps on giving.
Shkreli notoriously stepped into the public spotlight after he raised the prices of a drug used to treat AIDS patients by a whopping 5,000%, and later faced fraud charges for allegedly mismanaging funds. While it’s normal for attorneys to seek impartial jurors to weigh in and decide a defendant’s fate in a court of law, his actions made it very difficult to find those jurors.
Transcripts from the juror interviews were released yesterday (August 16), and it appears that many prospective jurors pulled zero punches in expressing what they thought about Shkreli. Harper’s Magazine first reported on the transcripts, and according to their findings, more than 200 jurors were excused from participating in the trial.
One juror’s reason for feeling Shkreli was guilty ahead of the trial stuck out: Shkreli had disrespected the Wu-Tang Clan.
Anonymous Juror Number 59 is referring to when Shkreli purchased the sole physical copy of Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, the mystical album of all-new music recorded by the legendary rap group. Shkreli, ever the villain, purchased the album and announced that he wasn’t going to listen to it—he just didn’t anyone else to hear it. It was rumored that Shkreli paid more than $2 million for the album; he later went online to taunt Wu-Tang member RZA for criticizing his motives and to promise to release the album if Donald Trump won the election. (He posted snippets.)
It’s clear that many jurors had valid reasons to be dismissed, but Juror Number 59 proves that hip-hop will never tolerate disrespect.