Mrs. Holmes ended the proceedings by taking a stand. Over seven days of testimony, she alternated between taking responsibility for certain missteps and shifting the blame for other problems on to colleagues.
She said she believed Theranos’ tests were working and relied on the expertise of more skilled people who ran the company’s laboratory. And she used her charisma to convince jurors of the same vision for the future that had helped her years before to attract investors, world market leaders and the press.
“I wanted to talk about what this company could do in a year, five years, ten years from now,” said Ms. Holmes. “I wanted to talk about what is possible.”
Ms. Holmes’ argument that her optimistic outlook was no different from that of other Silicon Valley companies contradicted government evidence, which coincided with traditional fraud cases, Ms. Roth said.
“If other founders and executives are involved in the type of fraud alleged in this case and supported by substantial evidence, they should be concerned,” she said.
Most noticeable is Mrs. Holmes accused Mr. Balwani of emotional and sexual abuse. The couple had been secretly dated for more than a decade and even owned an estate together in Atherton, California. Ms. Holmes said that Mr. Balwani, who is about 20 years older than her, was in control of every aspect of her life, including her schedule, self-expression and the time she spent with her family. She also accused him of forcing her to have sex with him. Mr Balwani has denied the allegations.
This tearful testimony threatened to turn the tide on the prosecutor’s case by appealing to the jury’s emotions and portraying Ms. Holmes as a victim. But it was a risky strategy Experts have said, especially since Ms. Holmes did not provide an expert to make her allegations related to allegations of wire transfer fraud.
Mr Balwani, known as Sunny, is on trial next year. Nor did he plead guilty.