Elizabeth Holmes plans to accuse a former Theranos executive of “intimate partner violence” in her criminal trial, claiming he threw “sharp” objects at her and controlled the way she ate and …


Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos Former COO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani.
  • Elizabeth Holmes is considering accusing ex-boyfriend and former business partner Ramesh Balwani of abuse during her criminal trial.
  • The founder of Theranos will claim that Balwani threw “sharp” objects at him and controlled his eating and dressing, which impacted his “state of mind”.
  • A lawyer for Balwani called salacious and inflammatory accusations.
  • See more stories on the Insider business page.

Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of Theranos, plans to accuse her ex-boyfriend and ex-business partner of “intimate partner violence” as part of her defense strategy in her upcoming fraud trial.

Holmes will argue that Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani – former vice president, chief operating officer and chairman of Theranos – threw “sharp” objects at her and controlled how she ate and dressed, new court documents show federal Saturday.

Balwani exercised control over Holmes in what was “a ten-year campaign of emotional abuse,” according to Holmes’ attorneys Lance Wade and Kevin Downey. She will also charge him with sexual abuse, according to the documents.

Holmes will argue during his trial, which begins in California on Tuesday, that Balwani monitored his calls, texts and emails, which had an impact on his “state of mind,” including his decision to shut down eyes on the failures of his blood testing startup, which was supposed to revolutionize medical testing.

The US Department of Justice charged Holmes and Balwani with nine counts of wire fraud in 2018, accusing them of defrauding investors, medical professionals and customers. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Before her arrest and the fall of Theranos, Holmes was one of the few female founders of Silicon Valley to run a unicorn, or a startup over a billion dollars. Theranos claimed to detect medical conditions such as cancer and high cholesterol using proprietary lab technology on a small amount of its clients’ blood. The company has raised more than $ 700 million from investors to build the technology.

Recently released court documents show how Holmes intends to defend himself against fraud charges. She intends to tell the court that she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety, which her lawyers have said Holmes plans to prove.

Lawyers also said Holmes would explain in detail how Balwani often isolated her, was combative towards her and was often physically present in her office, all traits, according to the document, are “tactics of abuse used by the attackers.” .

Balwani, through his lawyer, denied the allegations, according to a court document.

“Ms. Holmes’ allegations are deeply offensive to Mr. Balwani, devastating to him personally,” said Jeffrey Coopersmith, Balwani’s attorney, calling the accusations salacious and inflammatory.

Coopersmith added: “Mrs. Holmes’ evidence seeking to establish her innocence would require her to defend herself not only against the government’s case, but also against its allegations, as her allegations are so inflammatory that they cannot be refuted. in front of the jury.

Balwani faces another fraud trial next year.

Lawyers for Holmes have also pointed out how the 31-year-old “did not intend to cheat” despite her exaggerated claims and instead believed her business “saves lives”.

Holmes is “likely” to testify herself at trial, according to her lawyers.

The truth about his non-working machines surfaced after John Carreyrou of the Wall Street Journal published a report in 2015 that his blood testing machine was faulty. This was followed by a 2018 U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission statement accusing Holmes of carrying out “an elaborate fraud that spanned years.”

Prosecutors said she knew it from the start. In September 2018, Theranos was closed.

The founder of Theranos faces up to two decades in prison for fraud and conspiracy regarding the precision and capacity of her machines. Her trial begins Aug. 31 in San Jose, California, after being repeatedly delayed for a variety of reasons, from the pandemic to giving birth.

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