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'Entitled creep' Martin Shkreli banned from Twitter for harassing journalist

File image of pharmaceutical chief Martin Shkreli from Feb. 4, 2016 Source: AAP

Controversial businessman Martin Shkreli has been banned from Twitter following "targeted harassment" of a female journalist in the US.

The former pharmaceutical executive, who received extensive scrutiny in 2015 when his company drastically jacked up the price of a life-saving drug, was suspended from the social media site on Sunday after reportedly harassing US journalist Lauren Duca.

In December, Shkreli started targeting Duca after she wrote an opinion piece for Teen Vogue, titled 'Donald Trump is gaslighting America', and he began tweeting his affection for her, according to BuzzFeed.

The feud continued last week when Shkreli asked Duca to be his plus-one to the inauguration of US President-elect Donald Trump on January 20.

Duca responded to the invitation with “I would rather eat my own organs,” which Shkreli replied, “well, start with your heart. what a cold you know what!”

Shkreli reportedly spoke about the journalist during a live post on Periscope, saying she would “come around eventually” and “get it from behind always”. 

He also changed his profile picture to one showing him and Duca sitting on a couch together and posted a collection of images of Duca, with a message saying “Til Death do Us Part”.

Duca responded by tweeting to the Twitter's CEO Jack Dorsey, pointing to the earlier exchange, and asking Shkreli be removed from the site.

Business Insider confirmed with Twitter that Shkreli’s account suspension was related to the episode with Duca and that he'd have to change parts of his account if he appeals to have it reinstated.

“The Twitter Rules prohibit targeted harassment, and we will take action on accounts violating those policies,” a Twitter spokeperson told the publication.

When asked for a response to Shkreli’s account suspension, Duca told BuzzFeed's David Mack: “He’s an entitled creep and absolutely deserves to have his account suspended — perhaps indefinitely.”

Shkreli drew international scrutiny in 2015 when his company Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price of a life-saving drug, from US$13.50 to US$750 per pill.

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