Elizabeth Holmes details her abusive relationship with Sunny Balwani

San Jose, California. — With emotional and sometimes tearful testimony on Monday, Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes has harassed former boyfriend Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, who was also the company’s president, for physical and psychological abuse, including forced sex. I blamed it for the pattern.

Holmes, 37, will reach the final day on the fourth day of the defense lawyer’s cross-examination, and there is no doubt that the next prosecution will be a fierce cross-examination. Holmes faces 11 counts of wire fraud and conspiracy due to her role in a blood testing company that collapsed in 2018, years after it was worth $ 9 billion.

Holmes has mentioned Balwani dozens of times in his testimony over the past three days, but the topic of abuse was not covered until Monday afternoon as the defense focused on the central allegations made shortly before the trial. Her lawyer wrote that Holmes suffered from a “10-year campaign of psychological abuse” by Balwani.

Holmes told the jury on Monday that Barwani constantly criticized her work ethic as an entrepreneur, “ordinaryness”, and the fact that she “encountered as a little girl” during the decade they were with. rice field. She said physical abuse would continue.

“He was very angry with me, and then he sometimes came upstairs in our bedroom and wanted me to know that he still loves me, so I don’t want to Sometimes I forced me to have sex with him, “Holmes sometimes said, fighting tears.

When asked how Balwani’s behavior affected her relationship with her family, Holmes said it was particularly harmful.

“I saw them less than I had seen before, and I told them less than I had told them before,” she said. “Because I’ve been trying to focus on the company all the time. Sunny would be very angry with my family. He said it was a distraction for the business.”

Balwani’s lawyer, Jeffrey Coopersmith, declined to comment.

Theranos Inc. Sunny Balwani, former President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company, will leave the Federal Court of Justice in San Jose, California on October 2, 2019.

Michael Short | Bloomberg | Getty Images

During the first 11 weeks of the trial, the prosecution called Roger Parlov, a former lab director at the stand, patients, doctors, business partners, investors, and journalist Roger Parlov, who wrote Fortune magazine in 2014. The cover story, “This CEO is bloodthirsty.”

The prosecution rested on November 19, and later that day, the defense surprised the court by calling Holmes a witness. Stanford University dropouts and former Silicon Valley wonders can be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison if convicted. She pleaded not guilty.

Balwani, 20 years older than Holmes, is also charged with the same charges and will be tried at a later date. He also pleaded not guilty.

Holmes started Theranos in 2003. Balwani joined six years later and was Deputy Commander of Holmes until he left in 2016. Holmes said in a testimony last week that Balwani is responsible for running the company’s lab and handling financial forecasts.

Holmes told the jury on Monday that she met Balwani in China. She was 18 at the time and he was 38.

“I understand that he was a really successful business person and worked with Bill Gates in the early days of Microsoft,” Holmes said. “I told him I wanted to start a company, and the company I tried to build in high school and I asked for his advice.”

Holmes said Balwani would send her an email while she was studying at Stanford the following grade. Holmes dropped out of Stanford University in his second year and worked for a company that became Theranos.

Holmes lawyer Kevin Downey asked if she had any other reason to leave Stanford.

“I was raped,” said Holmes crying. (Police agencies have told CNBC that there is no record of reports in the name of Holmes.)

She was then asked about the impact of the experience on her life.

“I was wondering how I could handle that experience and what I would do in my life,” she said. “And I decided to build my life by building this company.”

Downey asked Holmes if he had talked to Balwani about the incident. Holmes said she did, and “he said I’m safe now because I met him.”

During the prosecution’s case, Holmes was portrayed by a series of witnesses as the undisputed leader of Theranos, who is solely responsible for all of its important decisions. She chose members of the board, met with investors and arranged business meetings with potential partners.

“I had to kill the person I was in”

Holmes acknowledged in his defense that some of her actions were substandard, such as adding the pharmaceutical company logo to Theranos Lab’s report, but Holmes intends to mislead patients and investors. Insisted that it was not.

Now Holmes is asking the jury to believe she was under the influence of Balwani for at least 10 years of that time.

“He didn’t know what I was doing in business, my beliefs were wrong, he was surprised at my mediocrity, I would fail if I followed my instincts, And I was to be what he called a new Elizabeth who could be a successful entrepreneur who told me I needed to kill a person. “

She added that Balwani insisted that she would work seven days a week if she wanted to succeed and spend time only with those who helped her business.

“He tells me not to sleep too much, purifies me, and eats only the food that will give me as much energy as possible in the company,” she said.

Downey read the text from Balwani to Holmes dated November 30, 2013 and said, “I feel very lonely when our family is here.”

Holmes provided the jury with a text background.

“When my family came to Thanksgiving, he felt ignorant, so he’s angry with me,” she said. “This is one of the nights when he cried and came upstairs and hurt me by doing something I didn’t want.”

Downey asked Holmes if he would take notes from time to time “after Sunny forced him to have sexual intercourse.”

Holmes referred to the February 2015 memo. She wrote in a note, “I’m reacting to one of those incidents, I’m stuck, I’m writing about the fact that I couldn’t sit down. What was lying there was swollen, why? I couldn’t understand why I was hurt or why I didn’t leave. “

“He taught me everything I think I know about business and I thought he was the best business person I know. I don’t think I’ve ever asked him any other way. “She added.

Holmes said her view began to change in 2016. Medicare and the Medicaid Service Center came to the inspection after a series of articles in The Wall Street Journal revealed Theranos’ false promises and technical flaws.

“I took part in the test because I thought it was one of the best labs in the world. The results of the test were fundamentally different from what I believed,” Holmes said. I am.

She said she hired two lab directors and brought in specialists from other labs after the test failed.

“He wasn’t the one I expected,” Holmes said. “And I realized that if I was going to fix the problem and allow the company to see the potential, I had to do it without him.”

Still, Holmes said in response to a series of questions from her lawyer, Balwani did not force her to make a statement to investors, business partners or journalists about Theranos.

Downey asked, “How did your relationship with Mr. Balwani affect your work at Theranos?”

“I don’t know,” she said. “He influenced everything about who I am, and I don’t fully understand it.”

At the end of Downey’s question, Holmes was asked about the value of the company. She said it was worth $ 9 billion. Holmes owns 50% and has a net worth of about $ 4.5 billion, consistent with the value Forbes Magazine gave her in 2015, she said. A year later, these stocks were worthless.

Holmes told Downey that he had the opportunity to sell his stock to new investors associated with various board members. When asked if she had ever sold, she said no.

“I didn’t want to,” she said. “I believed in the company, so I wanted to put everything I had into the company.”

“Are those stocks worth anything now?” Downey asked.

“No,” Holmes said.

The court was adjourned shortly before 4 pm California time. Government cross-examination begins Tuesday morning.

Holmes tried to make eye contact with each of the juries out of court. Most didn’t see her.

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