Elizabeth Holmes, founder of the failure to start blood tests Theranos, reportedly accuses her ex-boyfriend and business partner of abuse in his upcoming criminal trial.
According to unsealed documents obtained by the Washington PostHolmes intends to argue that the abuse, which would have included verbal abuse and coercive control, hampered his ability to make his own decisions.
Holmes’ lawyers presented the allegations in December, when they alerted the judge to the possibility that Holmes could present evidence of domestic violence she allegedly suffered from ex Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. In the document, Holmes said Balwani monitored his communications and movements, threw dangerous objects at him and restricted his sleep. A defense filing later in February suggests that Holmes – who has been charged with 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiring to commit wire fraud – will likely cite these allegations as “why she believed, relied on and referred to Mr. Balwani. And other court documents raise the possibility of an expert witness who will explain “how Ms. Holmes’ relationship with Mr. Balwani was compatible with domestic violence” in court. Balwani has denied the allegations through his lawyers.
Holmes’ highly anticipated trial is set for next month, at a federal courthouse in San Jose, Calif., With jury selection beginning Tuesday. Legal trouble began for Holmes when Theranos was exposed as (allegedly!) a massive scam by reporters in 2015, prompting federal investigators to take action against the company. The following year, Holmes was temporarily banned to own or operate a laboratory, and prominent business partners like Walgreens have started break ties with the company.
Holmes and Balwani were both charged in June 2018, based on prosecutors’ findings that the couple defrauded investors as well as doctors and patients. Originally, Holmes and Balwani were to be tried together, but the two later saw their cases separate. Despite Balwani’s requests, Holmes will come first, meaning the public will hear his accounts of his alleged abuse first before he goes to court. But even if the jury in the Holmes case thinks she was abused by Balwani, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll see a plausible explanation for it. for her business decisions.