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The Man Who Hiked The Price Of A Lifesaving Drug Allegedly Harassed His Former Employee

Martin Shkreli – who is facing backlash for his decision to significantly increase the price of a pill for AIDS and cancer patients – was accused by his former employee of threatening to make sure his wife and four children would be "homeless," according to court records.

Posted on September 22, 2015, at 8:01 p.m. ET

Bloomberg / Getty Images

Martin Shkreli in 2011.

Martin Shkreli, the 32-year-old founder of Turing Pharmaceuticals who is facing backlash for hiking the price of a lifesaving drug for AIDS and cancer patients, was once accused of hacking into a former employee's social media accounts and harassing his family through Facebook and texts, according to court records.

Shkreli initially defended increasing the price of Daraphim from $13.50 to $750 per pill by saying it was "necessary to make a profit" and by responding to critics with an Eminem song "The Way I Am."

But on Tuesday, he told ABC News that he plans to lower the cost to make it "more affordable," although he declined to say by how much.

Timothy Pierotti, a former employee of Retrophin — a biotech company Shkreli founded in 2011 — filed a police complaint against his boss in 2013, according to court records. In the report he accuses Shkreli of allegedly hacking into his Facebook, GMail, LinkedIn, AOL and Twitter accounts and for harassing him, his wife and his four children, according to the court documents.

Pierotti alleged that Shkreli threatened his wife in a letter, saying, "I hope to see you and your four children homeless and will do whatever I can to assure this."

Shkreli also allegedly tried to befriend Pierotti's children on Facebook and messaged his teenage son that his father "betrayed" and "stole" millions from him.

Pierotti alleged that Shkreli's "campaign of harassment" began two months before Retrophin filed a March 2013 lawsuit against Pierotti, alleging fraud and demanding $3 million in damages. The lawsuit was eventually settled out of court and a non-disclosure agreement bars Pierotti and his lawyers from speaking about it.

In August, Shkreli himself was sued by Retrophin for $65 million after he was accused of using company money to pay back investors, leading to his ouster from the company last year.

In a motion filed in January 2014, Pierotti said Shkreli sent a letter to his wife, Kristen, warning her of the impending lawsuit against her husband.

In the letter, Shkreli allegedly wrote, "your husband has stolen $1.6 million from me and I will get it back. I will go to any length necessary to get it back."

The letter allegedly said: "Your husband's arrogance is infuriating and making an enemy out of me is a huge mistake... I hope to see you and your four children homeless and will do whatever I can to assure this."

Pierotti alleged that the harassment continued for months after the lawsuit was filed, saying Shkreli sent a message to his wife on Facebook, saying, "How do you sleep at night? Your husband stole millions from me." He also allegedly texted her, saying "hey sweetheart."

According to the motion, Shkreli tried to befriend Pierotti's brother, their father and Pierotti's two teenage sons on Facebook. When Pierotti's 16-year-old son asked Shkreli why he wanted to be his friend, Shkreli allegedly responded, "Because I want you to know about your dad . . . he betrayed me. he stole $3 million from me."

He also alleged that Shkreli hacked into his Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and posted copies of Retrophin's complaint against Pierotti on them.

After Pierotti filed a report with the Summit Police Department in New Jersey, Shkreli allegedly left him a voicemail saying he regretted that Pierotti and his family had felt harassed and apologized if he had anything to do with it, the court documents said.

When an officer from the Summit Police Department called Skhreli following Pierotti's complaints, Shkreli initially denied knowing him at all, according to the court documents. When the officer told him about the Facebook friend requests, Skhreli said he hadn't spoken to Pierotti in at least a year, according to the incident report.

The officer reported that Shkreli insisted it was impossible for him to harass Pierotti as he hadn't spoken to him in years. When the police officer warned him not to harass or contact Pierotti's family again, Shkreli hung up the phone, according to the incident report.

Pierotti's lawyer told BuzzFeed News he could not comment on the lawsuit because of a confidentiality agreement. Shkreli and Pierotti did not return requests for comment.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.