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EXCLUSIVE: How Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli was 'saved from MURDER by FBI' - because Wu-Tang Clan fans ordered 'hit' on him for trashtalking the rappers after buying their album for $2 million

  • New memoir 'Once Upon a Time in Shaolin: The Untold Story' exposes details of Wu-Tang Clan's plot to extort more money from the sale of their record
  • Pharma-bro Martin Shkreli infamously bought the album for $2million – prompting outrage from the rap group's fans
  • The idea of selling the record to a single buyer intended to demonstrate the future of music if artists couldn't get fair pay in the world of streaming
  • Manager Cilvaringz devised a fraudulent scheme to exploit every last dollar if for some reason the record didn't make a multi-million sale
  • Shkreli, who was in on the ruse, dissed the group in an interview after he learned they planned to legally restore rights to the Clan

The FBI arrest of Martin Shkreli for securities fraud saved the 'Pharma Bro's' life from a gangland hit ordered by backers of the Wu-Tang Clan, a new book is claiming.

The explosive memoir also exposes shocking details of a plot to extort even more money from the sale of the Wu-Tang Clan's infamous record, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, for $2million.

And two members of the rap group were in on the alleged scam, the book claims, colluding with the 'most hated man in America' in an aggressive deceit that almost ended in murder.

The book called: 'Once Upon a Time in Shaolin: The Untold Story', was written by Cyrus Bozorgmehr, one of the people behind the sale.

He was the senior adviser on the project and represented a mysterious moneyman who funded the controversial 31-track album's development.

Pharma bro: Martin Shkreli's securities fraud arrest in 2015 saved him from being killed after Wu-Tang Clan supporters plotted a revenge hit on the former CEO

Pharma bro: Martin Shkreli's securities fraud arrest in 2015 saved him from being killed after Wu-Tang Clan supporters plotted a revenge hit on the former CEO

Two million-dollar record: Shkreli infamously bought the only copy of Wu-Tang Clan's new record Once Upon a Time in Shaolin and later publicly dissed the rap group outraging fans (Pictured: Cilavringz, RZA, and founder of an online auction house Alexander Gilkes)

Two million-dollar record: Shkreli infamously bought the only copy of Wu-Tang Clan's new record Once Upon a Time in Shaolin and later publicly dissed the rap group outraging fans (Pictured: Cilavringz, RZA, and founder of an online auction house Alexander Gilkes)

On trial: Martin Shkreli is currently on trial at federal court in Brooklyn, New York, where he denies security fraud charges. He is being defended by New York attorney Benjamin Brafman

On trial: Martin Shkreli is currently on trial at federal court in Brooklyn, New York, where he denies security fraud charges. He is being defended by New York attorney Benjamin Brafman

The other two people working with Bozorgmehr were the Wu-Tang's leader, Robert 'RZA' Diggs, and associate Tarik 'Cilvaringz' Azzourgarh, the mastermind of the bizarre plot.

Shkreli, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, earned international loathing in September, 2015 by jacking up the price of life-saving drug Daraprim.

Daraprim treats infections from toxoplasmosis, which can be fatal in patients also suffering from AIDS.

It was on sale for $13.50 until Turing raised the price by 5,000% to $750. Shkreli was immediately dubbed 'pharma bro' and reviled across America.

He also became a hate figure for most members of the Wu Tang Clan and its supporters with his purchase of their album and his comments about the group.

But the FBI nabbed the unpopular CEO on securities fraud charges in January, 2016, which ultimately saved him from a hitman's bullet, according to Bozorgmehr.

According to extracts of the book, obtained exclusively by celebrityrave.com, stage one of the elaborate ruse had Shkreli starting a public beef with RZA.

But Shkreli went rogue the day before his arrest and delivered a message so inflammatory it called for blood.

In an expletive-laced interview on Hip Hop DX, the biggest hip-hop site in the world, Shkreli ranted: 'I bought the most expensive album in the history of mankind and f***king RZA is talking s**t behind my back… If I hand you $2million, f**king show me some respect.'

The sale however, was part of an elaborate plot led by Wu-Tang's leader RZA (left) and associate Cilvaringz, to exploit the work for every last dollar
The plan involved Shkreli starting a public beef with RZA and then announce that if fans were so outraged by the private sale and the Clan was so determined to get the record back, he would sell 36,000 copies at an inflated price over 36 days or destroy it

The sale however, was part of an elaborate plot led by Wu-Tang's leader RZA (left) and associate Cilvaringz, to exploit the work for every last dollar – which involved Shkreli starting a public beef with RZA

Cilvaringz and RZA falsely claimed there was a clause in the contract that allowed the Clan, or, randomly, actor Bill Murray, one attempt to steal back the album - Shkreli had planned to live stream the fake break-in of six masked men. But the robbery would fail

Cilvaringz and RZA falsely claimed there was a clause in the contract that allowed the Clan, or, randomly, actor Bill Murray, one attempt to steal back the album – Shkreli had planned to live stream the fake break-in of six masked men. But the robbery would fail

Shkreli told the site about his meeting with RZA at exclusive members club Soho House in Manhattan.

'Motherf***er came in. He was late. We sat down for maybe 45 minutes at most. The guy is f**king full of himself, talking about how his s**t is the best ever… I'd encourage him to shut the f**k up before he goes a little too far.'

Bozorgmehr panicked.

He wrote: 'No one had ever dissed RZA or the Clan like that. Ever. There had to be retaliation for this, whether it was through words, fists, or maybe even bullets from a Staten Island crew who wouldn't let the Clan get dissed by this f**k.

'There's an awful lot of motherf**kers who'd be delighted to step to Martin first – no matter what anyone said. Man's going down.'

Wu-Tang rose from streets of a Staten Island housing project in the 90s to rule hip-hop.

Shkreli posted a video of himself playing the intro and parts of two tracks from the album in November after he promised to release the record if Trump made it to the White House

Shkreli posted a video of himself playing the intro and parts of two tracks from the album in November after he promised to release the record if Trump made it to the White House

A clause was written into the complicated deal restricting the buyer from commercially releasing the tracks for 88 years
But according to the book, if the 'heist'' was successful, all rights reverted to the seller and ban on commercial release was voided

A clause was written into the complicated deal restricting the buyer from commercially releasing the tracks for 88 years – but according to the book, if the heist was successful, all rights reverted to the seller and ban on commercial release was voided

Its members – RZA, GZA, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God and Masta Killa – all became successful rappers with solo careers.

Bozorgmehr, who lives in Marrakech, Morocco, says the arrest simmered tensions.

Two days after the arrest, Cilvaringz called Shkreli, released on bail, desperate to make him see the impact of his words.

He found out that only the arrest had stopped Pharma Bro from starting a gang war.

Shkreli had got hold of fake AK-47s and planned a video with his posse threatening the lives of the rest of the Clan.

His planned callout to the Clan included lines like, 'A message to ODB (Ol' Dirty Bastard). Make some room in heaven, because your brothers are about to join you.'

Bozorgmehr said he erupted when he heard this.

'What the f**k is wrong with this guy? Using a dead Clan member to threaten the murder of the rest of the Clan? That would have been tantamount to inciting a gang war,' he wrote.

Ol' Dirty Bastard, Russell Tyrone Jones, died from an accidental drug overdose in 2004.

The record, Once Upon A Time in Shaolin, was possibly the most-hyped album ever.

The brainchild of Cilvaringz, who managed road tours for Clan members, it was six years in the making.

The high-minded purpose of selling the record to a single buyer for the highest-price possible was that it was supposed to strike a blow for musicians everywhere.

Cilvaringz claimed he intended to demonstrate the future of music if artists couldn't get fair remuneration in the world of streaming.

To get paid, musicians would start selling their work to the highest bidder.

A clause was written into the complicated deal restricting the buyer from commercially releasing the tracks for 88 years.

But Cilvaringz, according to the book, had already devised a fraudulent scheme to exploit every last dollar from the work if for some reason the record didn't make a multi-million sale.

That scheme, though, paled compared to the one he devised after an appalled world learned that Shkreli, was the buyer.

Surprised by how much they all liked the guy, the nefarious Cilvaringz went into overdrive.

RZA publicly pounded home the fact the tribunal hadn't known of Shkreli's reputation before the sale.

But they withheld the buyer's name until they ensure contributions were on their way to several charities, helping distance the Clan from the outrage.

It's claimed Cilvaringz then seized on a fake news story that had gone viral, falsely claiming there was a clause in the contract that allowed the Clan, or, randomly, actor Bill Murray, one attempt to steal back Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.

If the heist was successful, all rights reverted to the seller and the 88-year ban on commercial release was voided.

Cilvaringz, with an eagerly complicit Shkreli, set in motion a plan to make it happen, according to the book.

The robbery would be pulled off by RZA, GZA, Cilvaringz, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, and Bill Murray, if he could be roped in.

The tell-all memoir was written by Cyrus Bozorgmehr, the senior adviser on the project who represented the mysterious moneyman who funded the controversial 31-track album's development

The tell-all memoir was written by Cyrus Bozorgmehr, the senior adviser on the project who represented the mysterious moneyman who funded the controversial 31-track album's development

The scheme was later hilariously turned into a musical production, aptly titled 'Martin Shkreli's Game: How Bill Murray joined the Wu-Tang Clan'.

Shkreli had planned to live stream the fake break-in of six masked men. But the robbery would fail.

Shkreli would then make his big announcement. If fans were so outraged by the private sale and the Clan was so determined to get the record back, he would sell 36,000 copies at an inflated price over 36 days.

If the sales objective was met, he would then release the album commercially.

Otherwise, the man who had already proved he's a monster, would destroy it.

Shkreli would make a show of signing an amendment contract exonerating the heist crew of charges before allowing them into his house to repossess the record. And the profits would start rolling in.

But according to the book what Pharma Bro didn't know was that Cilvaringz was also plotting something. He planned to insert airtight language into the amendment that would legally restore rights to the Clan.

It was then Shkreli dissed RZA and put his life at stake.

Shkreli promised to release the record if Trump made it to the White House. The day after the election he released the intro and parts of two tracks.

He's now standing trial charged with securities fraud at Brooklyn Federal Court, where potential jurors have already expressed their dislike for him.

And, by Bozorgmehr's account, he's lucky to be there.

'Once Upon a Time in Shaolin: The Untold Story of Wu-Tang Clan's Million-Dollar Secret Album, the Devaluation of Music, and America's New Public Enemy No. 1' is out on July 11

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR celebrityrave

Journalist, writer and broadcaster, based in London and Paris, her latest book is Touché: A French Woman's Take on the English. Read more articles from Agnes.

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