Elizabeth Holmes Weeps Under Cross-Examination

Cross-examination will continue December 7
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 1, 2021 1:22 AM CST
Elizabeth Holmes Weeps Under Cross-Examination
Elizabeth Holmes, founder and CEO of Theranos, left, leaves the Robert F. Peckham Federal Building in downtown San Jose, Calif., on Tuesday, May 4, 2021.   (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group via AP, File)

(Newser) – One-time entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes, under questioning by prosecutors, struggled Tuesday to recall key events that led to her facing criminal fraud charges for allegedly fleecing investors and customers of her failed blood-testing startup Theranos, the AP reports. Her cross-examination began the day after she shared painfully vivid memories of alleged abuse by her ex-lover and business partner, Sunny Balwani. In between bouts of hazy recollection, Holmes wept on the witness stand after the federal prosecutor interrogating her asked to read aloud some of the amorous texts that she and Balwani exchanged during a five-year period while they were running Theranos and living together in a stealth romantic relationship. Holmes will return to the stand on Dec. 7. Her testimony could wrap up that day, raising the possibility that jury deliberations could begin by the end of next week.

“U are God's tigress and warrior. You are extraordinary," Balwani cooed to Holmes in 2015 documents displayed in court Tuesday. Holmes quickly responded with this text: “Coming from my tiger means the whole universe to me." While poring over the old texts, Holmes occasionally dabbed away tears and wiped her nose with a tissue. The jury watched and listened along with a packed courtroom that included one person who trained a pair of binoculars on Holmes from a back row. The drama unfolded the day after Holmes cast herself as a victim of Balwani's abusive and controlling behavior while they were romantically involved from 2005 to 2016. Balwani, 56, also served as Theranos' chief operating officer from 2009 to 2016 while Holmes, 37, was the CEO and controlling shareholder.

Robert Leach, the government lawyer confronting Holmes, didn't touch upon Holmes' alleged rape nor her testimony about Balwani berating her, sometimes in profane terms. Instead, he used roughly 12,000 texts sent between Holmes and Balwani to counter her contention that they had a relationship that was more toxic than romantic. At one point, Leach asked Holmes if she would be surprised if the word “love" appeared 594 times in the texts obtained by the government and the word “loving" was used 105 times. “No," Holmes said with a slight smile. But Holmes spent much of Tuesday responding “I don't remember" and “I don't know” to Leach's questions about key incidents in the startup's history. Leach, who responded by presenting her with documents to "refresh your memory," seemed intent on proving that Holmes knew she was making false statements to investors and Walgreens, which briefly used Theranos' blood tests in its pharmacies. (Click for more, including Holmes' expressions of remorse.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
X
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.

X