And Finally Artist News Beef Of The Week

Beef Of The Week #368: Wu-Tang Clan fan (aka Potential Juror Number 59) v Martin Shkreli

By | Published on Friday 18 August 2017

Ghostface Killah / Martin Shkreli

In a week when some of the very worst Americans have been in the media spotlight, it was reassuring to read the court transcripts from the recent fraud case against Martin Shkreli.

And in particular transcripts of the jury selection process at the start of the proceedings, during which more than 200 potential jurors had to be excused from the trial, on the basis that they didn’t feel they could be impartial in the case, on account of the one time pharmaceuticals entrepreneur [a] being a cunt, [b] looking like a cunt, and [c] having once disrespected the Wu-Tang Clan.

This beef actually occurred back in June, but the transcripts were published by Harper magazine this week, and they make for very amusing reading indeed. Shkreli, you may remember, was the slime-ball who became front page news when he raised the price of the drug Daraprim by 5000% in his role as CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals.

He then stayed in the news by being a general shit-bag and saying shit-baggy things, and subsequently became music news when it emerged he had provided funding to punk and hardcore label Collect Records. It then turned out that he was also the buyer of ‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’, the new record made by the Wu-Tang Clan of which only one single copy was being sold.

Shkreli’s association with the Wu-Tang Clan ultimately won him his first appearance in the Beef Of The Week column, when he started beefing with Wu-Tang member Ghostface Killah. That occurred after the latter was asked by TMZ what he thought about the buyer of Wu-Tang’s new album.

“That shithead” he responded. “You don’t take some AIDS pill you have for like $7 and then make it like $800. You know? You don’t do it like that. I don’t care if you bought the Wu-Tang whatever, whatever, whatever. I don’t even know him, but when I heard what he did with the AIDS like that, that’s not right”.

It’s probably fair to say that, when Shkreli – having been arrested on allegations of fraud in late 2015 – rocked up in court earlier this summer to face eight fraud charges, many of those lined up to sit on the jury were very much in agreement with Ghostface Killah.

Hence why so many potential jurors had to be excused. “I’m aware of the defendant and I hate him”, said potential juror number one when asked whether they could be ‘fair and impartial’ as a member of the jury considering the fraud allegations. “I think he’s a greedy little man”, the potential juror added.

“Both of my parents are on prescriptions that have gone up over the past few months, so much that they can’t afford their drugs”, stated potential juror number eighteen. “I have several friends who have HIV or AIDS who, again, can’t afford the prescription drugs that they were able to afford”. But that’s not relevant to the fraud case, potential juror number eighteen was told, so could you not put those feelings to the side? “No, no, no, no”.

“He’s the most hated man in America”, reckoned potential juror number 47. “I just walked in and looked right at him and that’s a snake”, stated potential juror number 52. “I have total disdain for the man”, admitted potential juror number 70. “I believe the defendant is the face of corporate greed in America”, confirmed potential juror number 77. “He kind of looks like a dick”, observed potential juror number 144.

But what about potential juror number 59? Could potential juror number 59 be ‘fair and impartial’ if asked to sit on the jury deciding the fate of fuck face Shkreli?

“Your Honour, he is totally guilty and in no way can I let him slide out of anything”, the potential juror said. So, not very impartial then. But on what basis do you form this strong opinion? Well, there’s “his entire demeanour” for starters. And then there’s “what he has done to people”. And, of course, as potential juror number 59 was very keen to stress, this is a man who “disrespected the Wu-Tang Clan”.

Earlier this month, Shkreli was found guilty of two counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. He is still be sentenced.