Elizabeth Holmes’ testimony will extend into week three on Tuesday, with additional questions from prosecutors.
Ms. Holmes, who founded the blood testing startup Theranos after dropping out of Stanford University in 2003, is charged with fraud against investors and patients with claims she made about Theranos’ technology and business. The company raised $ 945 million in funding and performed millions of blood tests before disbanding in 2018 amid a scandal.
The cross-examination of Mrs. Holmes started last weekwhen prosecutors denounced her for evidence directly relating her to problems with Theranos’ tests. Prosecutors have to convince a jury that Ms. Holmes knew she was cheating on people – something she fought with ignorance and naivety.
Her testimony is expected to end on Tuesday, and her lawyers could finish their defense as early as this week.
In court, prosecutors presented personal documents such as text messages and notes from Ms. Holmes and emphasized that, as managing director and founder, she was ultimately responsible for the problems at Theranos.
They also used reports of Theranos’ blood tests, which Ms. Holmes tampered with before being mailed to potential investors and business partners. Ms. Holmes, 37, admitted that she added logos of pharmaceutical companies to the reports that investors saw as endorsement of those companies, and deleted or changed the language. she said she wished she “did it differently”.
In their first testimony, Ms. Holmes’ attorneys attempted to show that there was a core of truth in many of their allegations. They used emails from former lab managers sharing the results of successful tests, as well as emails showing discussions about possible collaboration with the military.
The prosecutors repeatedly pushed back and showed other notices which made it clear that Ms. Holmes was aware of the problems. They also stressed that no talks between Theranos and the military led to the treaties Ms. Holmes had alleged. She told investors Theranos used his blood testing equipment on the battlefield in Afghanistan.
“Nothing ever came out of that conversation, did it?” Robert Leach, a US assistant attorney, asked repeatedly. “It was just talk?”
But all of this was overshadowed by Mrs. Holmes Bomb testimony about Ramesh Balwani, her former boyfriend and former Theranos manager. Ms. Holmes tearfully accused Mr. Balwani, about 20 years her senior, of emotional and physical abuse. Mr. Balwani controlled her, she said, and that affected her leadership. She was crying again in the stands when Mr. Leach asked her to read loving text messages between her and Mr. Balwani.
Ms. Holmes and Mr. Balwani were charged jointly in 2018. Both have pleaded not guilty. Mr Balwani, who has denied abuse allegations, will be tried next year.