Wu-Tang Clan album bid almost cost Martin Shkreli his life

Ex-pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli exits the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York June 6, 2016, in Brooklyn, New York.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

"Pharma bro" Martin Shkreli's current legal woes aren't his only source of trouble, apparently.

Shkreli made headlines in 2015 when he was revealed as the buyer of Wu-Tang Clan's "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin." The former pharmaceutical company CEO paid a reported $2 million for the only existing copy of the double album.  

The revelation that Shkreli was the buyer came shortly before his arrest in December 2015 for securities fraud -- an arrest that came just in the nick of time, according to author Cyrus Bozorgmehr, who is writing a book chronicling the production and auction of the album. 

Bozorgmehr explained that Shkreli's penchant in interviews for trash-talking the group -- particularly its leader, RZA -- had put him on the radar of some disreputable characters. 

"There had to be retaliation for this," Bozorgmehr wrote, according to BET. "Maybe even bullets from a Staten Island crew who wouldn't let the Clan get dissed by this f**k." 

"No one has ever dissed RZA or the Clan like that. Ever," Bozorgmehr continued. "He had moved us into something bloodcurdlingly sinister whether any of us liked it or not."