Theranos Holmes cross-examined relationships with romantic business partners

File Photo: Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of Theranos, leaves after attending a fraudulent trial in a federal court in San Jose, California, on November 22, 2021.Reuters / Brittany Hosea-Small / File Photo

December 1, 2021

Jody Godoy

San Jose, CA (Reuters)-Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes said Tuesday that Holmes had been abusive and dominated, a prosecutor’s question about his relationship with former romantic and business partner Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. Faced with.

Holmes, 37, testified on Monday that a decade-long relationship had a widespread impact on her life, while prosecutors said she had committed a fraud.

During Holmes’ emotional testimony, the jury saw a different aspect of startup founders than confident owners who said prosecutors had deceived investors and patients. On Monday, she said she had thrown herself into a blood testing company that she founded at the age of 19 after being raped in college. Then when she left for Theranos, she said she was sexually and verbally abusive and told her she wouldn’t succeed if she didn’t follow his advice.

On Tuesday, prosecutor Robert Reach investigated his relationship with Balwani, who denied the abuse, before asking Holmes about a statement to investors that went to the heart of her allegations.

Reach had Holmes read the text between her and Balwani aloud, showing that they were expressing their love for each other, he said.

“I prayed from the bottom of my heart for you,” Barwani wrote in an exchange in 2015. Holmes read it and seemed to wipe away his tears.

According to the prosecutor, Holmes lied about the effectiveness of the technology in the now obsolete startups and claimed that he could perform diagnostic tests faster and more accurately than traditional lab tests.

Former Silicon Valley executives have pleaded not guilty to nine transfer frauds and two plots.

Holmes testified last week that Balwani was responsible for certain aspects of the company, including financial forecasts shared with investors.

She said on Monday he didn’t ask him what she should have because he taught her “everything I thought I knew about business.”

Prosecutor Reach on Tuesday also walked Holmes through a text exchange in which Theranos Chief Operating Officer Barwani commented on the company’s issues. Holmes agreed that Balwani did not hide his opinion from her.

In a court filing, 56-year-old Balwani “resolutely” denied the allegations of abuse and called them “false and inflamed.” Balwani’s lawyer did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.

Balwani, also charged with fraud and tried separately, pleaded not guilty.

Once worth $ 9 billion, Theranos has pushed Holmes to Silicon Valley stardom. The company collapsed after the Wall Street Journal published a series of articles from 2015. This suggests that the device is defective and inaccurate. She was indicted in 2018.

Holmes, under cross-examination on Tuesday, said the lawyer needed to tone down the finest explanations of Theranos’ technology, including that the method brought “the highest level of accuracy” to avoid legal issues. I admitted that I received advice from. But Reach pointed out a few months later that the same phrase was used in investor presentations.

Reach also asked Holmes about the actions that Theranos took in response to a news article about Theranos’ technology by Wall Street Journal reporter John Kaleiro at the time. Holmes said he admitted that the company’s response to his report was a “disaster” and that he tried to put it down.

Carreyrou, who was in court on Tuesday, created a “Bad Blood” to record the rise of the company Holmes started at the age of 19 and describe retaliation against former employees after expressing concern about Theranos devices.

Holmes denied trying to retaliate against two of those employees on Tuesday. But she admitted that the concerns expressed by former Theranos Institute employee Erica Chan, who was a witness to the indictment, were later verified by regulatory reports on Theranos’ activities.

“I wish we had treated her differently and listened to her,” she said of Chan.

Holmes cross-examination is scheduled to resume on December 7.

(Report by Jody Godoy, San Jose, CA, edited by Noeleen Walder, Grant McCool, Peter Cooney, Sandra Maler)

Theranos Holmes cross-examined relationships with romantic business partners

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